de·​fi·​ant | \ di-ˈfī-ənt , 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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Other Words from defiant

defiantly adverb

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

Lila is tough, unflinching and defiant in the face of everyday violence, while Lenú most often looks on in horror, even disgust. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 Teachout also stumped as a defiant progressive, vowing to wage legal war against Trump as the state’s top lawyer. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "With Letitia James' Primary Win, New York Could See Its First Black Female Attorney General," 14 Sep. 2018 But after a central act of expressive, defiant destruction, the film never again reaches the same peak. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Hold the Dark throws Jeffrey Wright to the wolves," 28 Sep. 2018 At the same time, Mr. Thrall said, appearing defiant and having the United States condemn him will not harm Mr. Abbas domestically. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Palestinian Leader Incites Uproar With Speech Condemned as Anti-Semitic," 2 May 2018 The Marvel meme takeover continues, inspired by a defiant line spoken by Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) in Black Panther. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "22 Memes That Made 2018 Less Horrible," 17 Dec. 2018 The two government ministers sanctioned remain defiant—and Turkish markets will stay under pressure from the threat of further action from the U.S., analysts said. Yeliz Candemir, WSJ, "As Turkey’s Lira Falls, Sanctioned Ministers Remain Defiant," 2 Aug. 2018 Russia remains defiant in the face of the accusations. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "U.K. to Expel 23 Russian Diplomats in Retaliation for Nerve Agent Attack," 14 Mar. 2018 MUSICAL BEGINNINGS Maezawa’s trademark defiant but disarming style may be rooted in his start as a musician, playing drums in indies rock bands. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Moonstruck Japan tycoon to blast off on 1st SpaceX trip," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for defiant

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defiant

The first known use of defiant was in 1583

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English Language Learners Definition of defiant

: refusing to obey something or someone : full of defiance


de·​fi·​ant | \ di-ˈfī-ənt \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on defiant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defiant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defiant

Spanish Central: Translation of defiant

Nglish: Translation of defiant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defiant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on defiant

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esteemed in general opinion

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