Definitions for defeatdɪˈfit

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word defeat

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to overcome in a contest; vanquish.

  2. to frustrate; thwart.

  3. to deprive of something expected:

    to defeat one's hopes.

  4. Law. to annul.

    Category: Law

  5. (n.)the act of overcoming in a contest.

  6. an instance of defeat; setback.

  7. an overthrow or overturning; downfall; abolition.

  8. Archaic. destruction; ruin.

* Syn: defeat , conquer , overcome , subdue imply gaining victory or control over an opponent. defeat usu. means to beat or frustrate in a single contest or conflict: Confederate forces were defeated at Gettysburg. conquer means to finally gain control over by physical, moral, or mental force, usu. after long effort: to conquer poverty; to conquer a nation.overcome emphasizes perseverance and the surmounting of difficulties: to overcome opposition; to overcome a bad habit.subdue means to conquer so completely that resistance is broken: to subdue a rebellious spirit.

Origin of defeat:

1325–75; ME < AF, OF desfait, ptp. of desfaire to undo, destroy < ML disfacere= L dis-dis-1+facere to do


Princeton's WordNet

  1. defeat, licking(noun)

    an unsuccessful ending to a struggle or contest

    "it was a narrow defeat"; "the army's only defeat"; "they suffered a convincing licking"

  2. frustration, defeat(verb)

    the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals

  3. get the better of, overcome, defeat(verb)

    win a victory over

    "You must overcome all difficulties"; "defeat your enemies"; "He overcame his shyness"; "He overcame his infirmity"; "Her anger got the better of her and she blew up"

  4. kill, shoot down, defeat, vote down, vote out(verb)

    thwart the passage of

    "kill a motion"; "he shot down the student's proposal"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. defeat(verb)ɪˈfit

    to win a game, war, election, etc.; = beat

    Brazil defeated Mexico, 3-1.; easily defeated by the Romans

  2. defeatɪˈfit

    to stop from succeeding or working

    an effort to defeat the treaty

  3. defeat(noun)ɪˈfit

    failure to win

    their 5-4 defeat of the Red Sox; a battle that ended in defeat for the French


  1. defeat(Noun)

    The act of defeating or being defeated

  2. defeat(Verb)

    To overcome in battle or contest.

    Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

  3. defeat(Verb)

    To destroy, ruin, undo, lay waste to.

  4. defeat(Verb)

    To nullify; to reduce, to nothing, the strength of.

  5. Origin: from desfait, from the verb desfaire des + faciō (to unmake).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defeat(verb)

    to undo; to disfigure; to destroy

  2. Defeat(verb)

    to render null and void, as a title; to frustrate, as hope; to deprive, as of an estate

  3. Defeat(verb)

    to overcome or vanquish, as an army; to check, disperse, or ruin by victory; to overthrow

  4. Defeat(verb)

    to resist with success; as, to defeat an assault

  5. Defeat

    an undoing or annulling; destruction

  6. Defeat

    frustration by rendering null and void, or by prevention of success; as, the defeat of a plan or design

  7. Defeat

    an overthrow, as of an army in battle; loss of a battle; repulse suffered; discomfiture; -- opposed to victory

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defeat' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3245

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defeat' in Nouns Frequency: #1306

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defeat' in Verbs Frequency: #623

Translations for defeat

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the loss of a game, battle, race etc

His defeat in the last race depressed him; We suffered yet another defeat.

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