reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.
the city was reduced after a month-long siege
overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.
overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks
overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.
violently overthrew the old regime
Examples of defeat in a Sentence
We must be ready to defeat our enemies in battle.
Our candidate defeated him in the last election.
She finally found a solution to a problem that had defeated many other researchers.
The bill was defeated in the state senate.
Scientists from around the world are working to defeat the disease. Noun
We weren't prepared for defeat.
One small error could make the difference between success and defeat.
After several tries we were forced to accept defeat.
They celebrated their defeat of the enemy. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
This year was at home against a team the Toreros had defeated 2-0 in September.—Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Nov. 2023 The Democrat served as president from 1977 to 1981, defeated in his bid for reelection by Ronald Reagan.—Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 17 Nov. 2023 The couple served in the White House after his election in 1976, when the Democrat defeated Republican President Gerald Ford in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.—Antonio Planas, NBC News, 17 Nov. 2023 Massa defeated Milei in the first round, winning 9.9 million votes, or 36.8%, to Milei's 8 million votes, or 30%.—David Unsworth, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2023 Helmer, 42, competed against Wexton for the 2018 Democratic nomination in the state’s 10th Congressional District before Wexton flipped the district blue by defeating Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) that fall.—Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 President Biden, who defeated Mr. Trump in 2020, had derided Mr. Trump’s intense focus on the wall.—Miriam Jordan, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2023 However, a pandemic where employees were consigned to their homes and obliged to keep a two meter distance from each other, plus subsequent inflation and soaring interest rates defeated that model.—Dr Byron Cole, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The round-robin winners advanced to the semifinals, where Italy defeated Slovenia, and Canada defeated the Czech Reoublic.
Italy and Canada are facing off in the Billie Jean King Cup finals for the first time.—Tim Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Nov. 2023
When Rams have the ball (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Quarterback Matthew Stafford returns to the lineup after sitting out a defeat to the Green Bay Packers because of a right-thumb sprain.—Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 In Bowman's case, Latimer is also white, meaning a Bowman defeat would remove a person of color from Democrats' ranks.—Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 17 Nov. 2023 There is no evidence that too much liberty during Covid led to pro-life defeats.—Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 15 Nov. 2023 Despite the narrow defeat the first time, Mayor Shirley Washington successfully petitioned the Pine Bluff City Council over the summer to return the measures to the ballot.—I.c. Murrell, arkansasonline.com, 15 Nov. 2023 That ignorance is at once a major victory, and a minor defeat.—Irv Erdos, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023 Six years after Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, and just 12 after his final defeat at Waterloo, his presence still loomed massively over the Western world.—David A. Bell, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2023 Victory would turn him into a big GOP star; defeat would dim those ambitions.—Mark Murray, NBC News, 7 Nov. 2023 Prominent Israeli officials have called not simply for the defeat of Hamas but for the annihilation of Gaza, the starving of its population, and the removal of Palestinians from some or all of its territory.—Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defeat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English defeten, defaiten "to ruin, destroy, nullify," in part verbal derivative of defet "disfigured, null and void (in law)," borrowed from Anglo-French defait, defet, desfet, past participle of defaire, desfaire "to undo, put an end to, destroy, nullify," from de-, des-de- + faire "to do, make," going back to Latin facere; in part borrowed from Anglo-French defeter, derivative of defet — more at fact
in part noun derivative of defeat entry 1, in part borrowed from Middle French defaite, noun derivative from feminine of defait, past participle of defaire, desfaire "to undo, destroy, kill" — more at defeat entry 1