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

Think about these amazing, defiant and relentless women as part of a potentially watershed period for both their sport and gender., "The U.S. soccer team is just one part of a larger wave of female activism," 3 July 2019 Kim's defiant and militaristic behavior got the world's attention. Will Ripley, CNN, "Trump and Kim make history, but a longer and more difficult march lies ahead," 30 June 2019 Unable to secure from the city a special parade event permit that year, the Center held a pride event which, by some accounts, included a charity yard sale, potluck dinner and defiant unofficial march. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: San Diego Pride has a long history," 28 June 2019 At times tearful, at times defiant Saturday, Knox recounted her odyssey for nearly an hour, occasionally breaking down, such as while recalling an injustice or a kindness received. Elisabetta Povoledo,, "Years after murder acquittal, Knox returns to Italy," 15 June 2019 Maduro, for his part, stood defiant and accused the United States of preparing a coup in the South American country. Barry Hatton, The Seattle Times, "EU countries step up pressure on Venezuela’s defiant Maduro," 4 Feb. 2019 Little little orishas is the story of Sango, a simple-minded and defiant wandering spirit, and his gentle sister Oya. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "The Congolese storyteller drawing on African mythology and spirituality for his comic books," 2 June 2019 Leisurely in its rhythms and urgently political in its concerns, the movie stands in humble, defiant opposition to the forces that are shaping and homogenizing too much of our own contemporary reality, the impulse to hurry not least among them. Justin Chang, Twin Cities, "‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ is a gorgeous, moving ode to a city in flux," 13 June 2019 Muteness, refusal, and a kind of defiant isolation dominate his accounts of his early life. Max Nelson, Harper's magazine, "The All-Seeing Eye," 10 June 2019

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

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defiant

The first known use of defiant was in 1583

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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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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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