What does defeat mean?

Definitions for defeat

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word defeat.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defeat, lickingnoun

    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, defeatverb

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

  3. get the better of, overcome, defeatverb

    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 outverb

    thwart the passage of

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


  1. defeatnoun

    The act of defeating or being defeated

  2. defeatverb

    To overcome in battle or contest.

    Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

  3. defeatverb

    To destroy, ruin, undo, lay waste to.

  4. defeatverb

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

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DEFEATnoun

    Etymology: from defaire, French.

    End Marlb’rough’s work, and finish the defeat. Addison.

    A king, upon whose life
    A damn’d defeat was made. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

  2. To Defeatverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Ye gods, ye make the weak most strong;
    Therein, ye gods, ye tyrants do defeat. William Shakespeare, Jul. Cæsar.

    They invaded Ireland, and were defeated by the lord Mountjoy. Francis Bacon, on the War with Spain.

    To his accusations
    He pleaded still not guilty, and alleg’d
    Many sharp reasons to defeat the law. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Then due by sentence when thou did’st transgress,
    Defeated of his seizure, many days,
    Giv’n thee of grace. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. i. l. 254.

    Discover’d, and defeated of your prey,
    You skulk’d. John Dryden, Virg. Past. 3.

    He finds himself naturally to dread a superior Being, that can defeat all his designs, and disappoint all his hopes. John Tillotson.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defeatverb

    to undo; to disfigure; to destroy

  2. Defeatverb

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

  3. Defeatverb

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

  4. Defeatverb

    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

  8. Etymology: [Cf. F. dfaite, fr. dfaire. See Defeat, v.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Defeat

    de-fēt′, v.t. to frustrate: to ruin.—n. a frustration of plans: ruin: overthrow, as of an army in battle.—n. Defeat′ure (Spens.), defeat: disfigurement, disguise. [O. Fr. defait, defaire, to undo—L. dis, neg. facĕre, to do.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. defeat

    This word expresses the complete want of success of an army; a repulse signifying less, and a rout more, than defeat.

  2. defeat

    To resist with success; as, to defeat an assault.

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

How to pronounce defeat?

How to say defeat in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of defeat in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of defeat in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of defeat in a Sentence

  1. Ted Cruz:

    It's important to understand on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I was leading the fight along with Jeff Sessions to defeat this bill, the Gang of Eight bill. As a result, I was introducing a whole series of amendments, in part, to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the Democrats.

  2. James Mattis:

    Lack of respect for the dignity and humanity of fellow members of the Department of Defense is unacceptable and counter to unit cohesion, we will not excuse or tolerate such behavior if we are to uphold our values and maintain our ability to defeat the enemy on the battlefield.

  3. James Rubin:

    It's a shame that the politics, the pendulum of our political system, has swung so far to the other direction that our President and others are not prepared to take some modest steps to defeat a genuine threat, not the fake threat that was exaggerated 10 years ago.

  4. Vice President Biden:

    Vice President Biden talked about how nothing was going to defeat Vice President Biden. How whether Vice President Biden walked again or not, Vice President Biden was not going to give up.

  5. Teddy Riner:

    The goal is to win at the Olympics in Tokyo and to be extremely good on D-Day, this defeat is a failure but it will show me what I have to work on. It's also a relief because I had been under tremendous pressure to always win for 10 years.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for defeat

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    the official who holds an office
    • A. contagious
    • B. incumbent
    • C. occlusive
    • D. adscripted

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