1

defy

play
verb de·fy \di-ˈfī, dē-\

Definition of defy

defied

;

defying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to challenge to combat

  3. 2 :  to challenge to do something considered impossible :  dare <defied us to name a better movie>

  4. 3 :  to confront with assured power of resistance :  disregard <defy public opinion> <in trouble for defying a court order>

  5. 4 :  to resist attempts at :  withstand <the paintings defy classification> <a decision that defies all logic>

Examples of defy in a sentence

  1. She defied her parents and dropped out of school.

  2. The group has continued to defy all efforts to stop them.

Origin and Etymology of defy

Middle English, to renounce faith in, challenge, from Anglo-French desfier, defier, from des- de- + fier to entrust, from Vulgar Latin *fidare, alteration of Latin fidere to trust — more at bide


First Known Use: 14th century


2

defy

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noun de·fy \di-ˈfī, ˈdē-ˌ\

Definition of defy

plural

defies

  1. :  challenge, defiance <observers took this to be a form of defy — Jack Alexander>

Origin and Etymology of defy

see 1defy


First Known Use: 1580



DEFY Defined for English Language Learners

1

defy

play
verb de·fy \di-ˈfī, dē-\

Definition of defy for English Language Learners

  • : to refuse to obey (something or someone)

  • : to make (something) very difficult or impossible

  • : to resist or fight (something)


DEFY Defined for Kids

defy

play
verb de·fy \di-ˈfī\

Definition of defy for Students

defied

defying

  1. 1 :  to refuse boldly to obey or yield to <The protesters defied orders to leave.>

  2. 2 :  to challenge to do something thought to be impossible :  dare <I defy you to explain the trick.>

  3. 3 :  to resist attempts at :  withstand <The scene defies description.>



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