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

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 With its irresistible groove and defiant storytelling, the single arrived as an independent release last November, and appeared on her sophomore album, What Happens Now?, released in February. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 7 May 2024 And the pro-Palestinian protesters, who are demanding divestment from Israel and an end to the country’s military actions in Gaza, were defiant. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for defiant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defiant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of defiant was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near defiant

Cite this Entry

“Defiant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​fi·​ant di-ˈfī-ənt How to pronounce defiant (audio)
: full of or showing defiance : impudent, insolent
defiantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on defiant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!