Definition of defy
1 archaic : to challenge to combat
2 : to challenge to do something considered impossible : dare defied us to name a better movie
3 : to confront with assured power of resistance : disregard defy public opinion in trouble for defying a court order
4 : to resist attempts at : withstand the paintings defy classification a decision that defies all logic
Examples of defy in a sentence
She defied her parents and dropped out of school.
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
DEFY Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of defy for Students
Seen and Heard
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