Synonyms & Antonyms of defeat

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 failure to win a contest
  • sore losers still griping about their defeat in the basketball game earlier that week

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2 a falling short of one's goals
  • truly disheartened by the defeat of his plans to revitalize downtown

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Synonyms & Antonyms of defeat (Entry 2 of 2)

to achieve a victory over
  • they defeated their archrivals easily and moved into the next round of the play-offs

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conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of. Caesar conquered Gaul vanquish implies a complete overpowering. vanquished the enemy and ended the war defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals. the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas subdue implies a defeating and suppression. subdued the native tribes after years of fighting reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender. the city was reduced after a month-long siege overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle. overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power. violently overthrew the old regime

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Time Traveler for defeat

Time Traveler

The first known use of defeat was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Defeat.” The Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on defeat

Dictionary: Definition of defeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defeat

Spanish Central: Translation of defeat

Nglish: Translation of defeat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defeat for Arabic Speakers

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


dull or mediocre

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