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 No such videos have come from Rice, a low-key conservative in a deep-red district who is defiant in defending his vote to impeach Trump in the wake of Jan. 6. Alisa Wiersema, ABC News, 14 June 2022 Zelensky, who has been defiant in rallying his people, remained determined. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 Jackson is relentlessly defiant against a world that sees Black women as expendable. Gloria Alamrew,, 30 Jan. 2022 For example, the million- and billion-dollar companies that sought PPP loans, and the landlords who were defiant about not deferring rent or, worse yet, demanding other forms of payment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Jan. 2022 Others, though, have been aggressively defiant toward their superiors. John Keilman,, 3 Jan. 2022 Vegan food can often suffer from less than careful adaptation, but Molinaro’s food is determinedly defiant of that stereotype. Lizzy Saxe, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 San Francisco Mayor London Breed remained steadfastly defiant about her behavior Friday after she was photographed at a city jazz club dancing and singing without a mask on earlier this week despite a city mandate. Fox News, 18 Sep. 2021 While several performers and GOP lawmakers dropped out of NRA events following the massacre at Robb Elementary School, the Republicans who kept their speaking slots at the annual gathering were defiant, despite mounting public pressure. Adela Suliman,, 28 May 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

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Defiant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 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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