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defy

[v. dih-fahy; n. dih-fahy, dee-fahy] /v. dɪˈfaɪ; n. dɪˈfaɪ, ˈdi faɪ/
verb (used with object), defied, defying.
1.
to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly:
to defy parental authority.
2.
to offer effective resistance to:
a fort that defies attack.
3.
to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible:
They defied him to dive off the bridge.
4.
Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.
noun, plural defies.
5.
a challenge; a defiance.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English defien < Old French desfier, equivalent to des- dis-1 + fier to trust < Vulgar Latin *fīdāre, variant of Latin fīdere
Related forms
defiable, adjective
defyingly, adverb
predefy, verb (used with object), predefied, predefying.
redefy, verb (used with object), redefied, redefying.
undefiable, adjective
undefiably, adverb
undefied, adjective
Synonyms
1. dare, brave, flout, scorn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for defies
  • Annette really defies the stereotype of a geeky engineer.
  • The richness of university collections of art defies any easy description.
  • But your claim is so foolish and illogical that it defies explanation.
  • It can drive you crazy at times, but it never gets old and it continually defies your expectations.
  • Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength.
  • Aesthetes, arch hunters worship the limitless ways that rock defies gravity.
  • It is a music that defies definition, yet defines our collective societies in immeasurable ways.
  • The persistence here, after more than two centuries, of what can still be described as a thriving waterman culture defies logic.
  • The highest poetical speech of any one language defies, in my belief, translation into any other.
  • He is there with his own consent, face to face with fortune, which he defies.
British Dictionary definitions for defies

defy

/dɪˈfaɪ/
verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to resist (a powerful person, authority, etc) openly and boldly
2.
to elude, esp in a baffling way: his actions defy explanation
3.
(formal) to challenge or provoke (someone to do something judged to be impossible); dare: I defy you to climb that cliff
4.
(archaic) to invite to do battle or combat
Derived Forms
defier, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French desfier, from des-de- + fier to trust, from Latin fīdere
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 defies

defy

v.

c.1300, "to renounce one's allegiance;" mid-14c., "to challenge, defy," from Old French defier, desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith," from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (see faith).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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