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

Trump remained defiant, refusing to act on his own. Michael D. Shear,, "GOP is looking for a solution on separation policy," 19 June 2018 Julianne Pangal, who works for a technology company in Victor, N.Y., is equally defiant. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Don't let volcanoes, other irrational travel fears, ruin your summer vacation," 3 June 2018 Allegri has been heavily linked with a summer switch to fill the managerial vacancy left by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, but the Italian was equally defiant when questioned on his future in Turin., "'The Best Goalkeeper Ever': Max Allegri Hails Gianluigi Buffon Ahead of Juventus Legend's Final Game," 18 May 2018 The negotiations have taken place at a time when China is increasing pressure on Taiwan, which split from China in 1949 amid civil war and has turned more defiant of Beijing’s wishes under its current leadership. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Abide in Darkness: China’s War on Religion Stalls Vatican Deal," 9 May 2018 The artworks featured in the project are defiant, joyful, beautiful. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 During a news conference at Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence, Trump was by turns defiant, fawning, and dismissive about the interview. Julie Hirschfeld Davis,, "In changing of tone, Trump heaps praise on May as ‘tough’ and ‘capable’," 13 July 2018 During a news conference at Chequers, the prime minister’s 16th-century official country residence, Mr. Trump was by turns defiant, fawning and dismissive of the interview. New York Times, "Trump Brings His Own Style to a Day of Damage Control in Britain," 13 July 2018 The defiant, abrasive comedian, is back and louder than ever, just a year after posting a graphic photo of herself on Twitter holding a fake decapitated head resembling President Donald Trump. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Kathy Griffin on her comedy tour, bloody Trump photo: 'More people realize it was harmless'," 13 June 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

9 Sep 2018

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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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Comments on defiant

What made you want to look up defiant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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