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defeat

[dih-feet] /dɪˈfit/
verb (used with object)
1.
to overcome in a contest, election, battle, etc.; prevail over; vanquish:
They defeated the enemy. She defeated her brother at tennis.
2.
to frustrate; thwart.
3.
to eliminate or deprive of something expected:
The early returns defeated his hopes of election.
4.
Law. to annul.
noun
5.
the act of overcoming in a contest:
an overwhelming defeat of all opposition.
6.
an instance of defeat; setback:
He considered his defeat a personal affront.
7.
an overthrow or overturning; vanquishment:
the defeat of a government.
8.
a bringing to naught; frustration:
the defeat of all his hopes and dreams.
9.
the act or event of being bested; losing:
Defeat is not something she abides easily.
10.
Archaic. undoing; destruction; ruin.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English defeten (v.) < Anglo-French, Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire to undo, destroy < Medieval Latin disfacere, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + facere to do
Related forms
defeater, noun
nondefeat, noun
predefeat, noun, verb
quasi-defeated, adjective
redefeat, verb, noun
undefeated, adjective
undefeatedly, adverb
undefeatedness, noun
Synonyms
1. overwhelm, overthrow, rout, check. Defeat, conquer, overcome, subdue imply gaining a victory or control over an opponent. Defeat suggests beating or frustrating: to defeat an enemy in battle. Conquer implies finally gaining control over, usually after a series of efforts or against systematic resistance: to conquer a country, one's inclinations. Overcome emphasizes surmounting difficulties in prevailing over an antagonist: to overcome opposition, bad habits. Subdue means to conquer so completely that resistance is broken: to subdue a rebellious spirit. 2. foil, baffle, balk. 7. downfall.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for defeat
  • If he withdraws from the war, it will be a military defeat.
  • The short history of the computer industry is dominated by two well-known stories of business triumph and defeat.
  • They have known and they will know joy and sorrow, triumph and temporary defeat.
  • To defeat an enemy, know its lifestyle, where it works and its secret hiding places.
  • But tango sometimes hits a sweeter note, with tunes that uplift and lyrics of celebration rather than defeat.
  • Anecdotes, however interesting, don't defeat statistics.
  • Earlier in history, one famous player was so nonplussed after a defeat that he tried to shove his opponent out the window.
  • They are maddeningly difficult to detect and defeat.
  • It was the first major electoral defeat in the nine years of his presidency.
  • Caricaturing your enemy as a psychopath simply ensures that you will never defeat him.
British Dictionary definitions for defeat

defeat

/dɪˈfiːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to overcome in a contest or competition; win a victory over
2.
to thwart or frustrate: this accident has defeated all his hopes of winning
3.
(law) to render null and void; annul
noun
4.
the act of defeating or state of being defeated
5.
an instance of defeat
6.
overthrow or destruction
7.
(law) an annulment
Derived Forms
defeater, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French desfait, from desfaire to undo, ruin, from des-dis-1 + faire to do, from Latin facere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defeat
v.

late 14c., from Anglo-French defeter, from Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire "to undo," from Vulgar Latin *diffacere "undo, destroy," from Latin dis- "un-, not" (see dis-) + facere "to do, perform" (see factitious). Original sense was of "bring ruination, cause destruction." Military sense of "conquer" is c.1600. Related: Defeated; defeating.

n.

1590s, from defeat (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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