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

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 Before Friday, the department’s probe into Trump’s removal of potentially sensitive materials was believed to focus on infractions stemming from his nonchalant, even defiant, treatment of presidential documents. Glenn Thrush,, 13 Aug. 2022 Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Jessica Wang,, 6 June 2022 The narrators of these first-person stories sound, by turns, angry, baffled, defiant, resigned and—above all—sad to the bone. Boyd Tonkin, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 In the end, Putin has achieved what no one thought possible: a Ukraine defiant, a West united, and a Russia humbled. Tom Southern, Wired, 10 Mar. 2022 And President Zelenskyy perhaps more defiant than ever. ABC News, 6 Mar. 2022 Rogan, for his part, posted a 10-minute video on Instagram that was, in true Rogan fashion, simultaneously good-natured, defiant, apologetic, well-reasoned, and misguided. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 31 Jan. 2022 This was blush as defiant as armor, jolting and vibrant. Leslie Camhi, Vogue, 8 Oct. 2021 In the days after the attack on the Capitol, Hawley remained defiant, arguing that the electoral count in Congress was the proper venue to air his concerns about fraud in the balloting., 22 July 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of defiant was in 1583

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Last Updated

18 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Defiant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for defiant


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 Armstrong, Sounder

Other Words from defiant

defiantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on defiant

Nglish: Translation of defiant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defiant for Arabic Speakers


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