de·​fi·​ance | \ di-ˈfī-ən(t)s How to pronounce defiance (audio) , dē-\

Definition of defiance

1 : the act or an instance of defying : challenge jailed for defiance of a court order
2 : disposition to resist : willingness to contend or fight dealing with a child's defiance
in defiance of
: contrary to : despite seemingly in defiance of the laws of physics He returned to the pulpit May 22 in defiance of an order by church leaders banning him from television preaching for one year.— Daniel E. Kubiske

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Examples of defiance in a Sentence

any defiance of the authoritarian regime would have dire consequences the troubled youth seems to have an ingrained defiance to authority of any sort

Recent Examples on the Web

AP Photo/Kin Cheung Hundreds gathered outside the domed planetarium of the Hong Kong Space Museum to shine their lasers in a show of defiance — and more than a little bit of trolling. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Hong Kong protesters stage a laser show in latest challenge to Beijing," 8 Aug. 2019 President Obama made the memorial part of the national parks system in 2009 and said in a letter for the 2016 annual remembrance that the group was part of a long tradition of defiance and that their efforts led to important changes in the military. Bill Van Niekerken,, "Port Chicago disaster: Unpublished photos of a World War II tragedy in Bay Area," 17 July 2019 Be water’ If the Umbrella Movement was the awakening of the Hong Kong youth’s political consciousness, this summer has been their moment of defiance. Time, "'We Are Risking Everything.' Hong Kong's Young Rebels Stake Everything on Their Struggle," 5 July 2019 Like that attempt, his most recent act of defiance would eventually end. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "'Who is the a--hole': The congressman who missed his anniversary to keep lawmakers voting until 4 a.m.," 14 June 2019 First baseman Anthony Rizzo, a South Florida native, stood in defiance of the thermometer, wearing long sleeves under his jersey as usual. Phil Thompson,, "Cubs weather sweltering conditions at Wrigley Field: ‘It was miserable’," 19 July 2019 Britain has so far continued to try to preserve the 2015 deal in defiance of the Trump administration. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "Iran’s Seizure of British Vessel Further Roils Gulf Region," 19 July 2019 To prevent this, the BBC reports, these unnamed lawmakers would invite the Queen to travel to the next E.U. summit in place of Johnson, in defiance of precedent and constitutional norms. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Could Queen Elizabeth Stop a 'No Deal' Brexit?," 19 July 2019 Pittman's hurricane videos have become a hurricane-season YouTube ritual - a rain dance in defiance of the weather. Author: Logan Hill, Anchorage Daily News, "Is it OK to laugh at Florida Man?," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defiance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of defiance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defiance

Middle English diffiaunce, defyaunce, borrowed from Anglo-French defiance, difiaunce, from defier, desfier "to renounce, challenge, defy entry 1" + -ance, -aunce -ance

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Statistics for defiance

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for defiance

The first known use of defiance was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of defiance

: a refusal to obey something or someone : the act of defying someone or something


de·​fi·​ance | \ di-ˈfī-əns How to pronounce defiance (audio) \

Kids Definition of defiance

1 : a refusal to obey a defiance of the rule
2 : a willingness to resist Obedience school cured the dog of defiance.

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Comments on defiance

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of or relating to the heavens

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