de·​fi·​ant | \ di-ˈfī-ənt How to pronounce defiant (audio) , dē- \

Definition of defiant

: full of or showing a disposition to challenge, resist, or fight : full of or showing defiance : bold, impudent defiant rebels a defiant refusal Mantor struck a defiant pose, his chin out, and rocked for a moment on the heels of his boots.— Christopher Ketcham

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Examples of defiant in a Sentence

He's taken a defiant stand on the issue. the defiant puppy refused to let go of the football
Recent Examples on the Web Since the allegations against him became public, Gaetz has remained defiant and accused the Justice Department of targeting him because of his politics. Paula Reid And David Shortell, CNN, 3 June 2021 President Alexander Lukashenko, facing a furious wave of retaliation from the European Union, Tuesday arrested more journalists, remained defiant. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 25 May 2021 Jeffrey Lowe in a statement Thursday was defiant about the seizures. NBC News, 21 May 2021 Even as Correia's former chief of staff and three others have pleaded guilty in the extortion scheme, the former mayor, now 29, has remained defiant., 18 Apr. 2021 As his coffin was moved toward the crematorium, mourners sang a defiant song from an earlier 1988 uprising against military rule. Fox News, 29 Mar. 2021 Most have brought a more defiant, Trumpian tone with them. NBC News, 21 Mar. 2021 Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh sounded a defiant tone in remarks broadcast on television. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, 8 Mar. 2021 Shell-shocked after a 51-41 loss to underdog Maryland at Royal-Memorial Stadium, the first-year coach struck a defiant, somewhat combative tone that would emerge again and again after each successive disappointment. Nick Moyle,, 2 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defiant.' 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 defiant

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defiant

in part borrowed from French défiant "mistrustful," from present participle of défier "to mistrust, challenge, defy entry 1," going back to Old French; in part from defi(ance) + -ant entry 2

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Learn More About defiant

Time Traveler for defiant

Time Traveler

The first known use of defiant was in 1583

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Statistics for defiant

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defiant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for defiant



English Language Learners Definition of defiant

: refusing to obey something or someone : full of defiance


de·​fi·​ant | \ di-ˈfī-ənt How to pronounce defiant (audio) \

Kids Definition of defiant

: showing a willingness to resist … the boy had not run but stood still and defiant— William H. Armstrong, Sounder

Other Words from defiant

defiantly adverb


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