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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 for defy
  • From electric eels to seahorses, see the fish who defy usual categorization.
  • Researchers defy the laws of physics by making a laser beam bend .
  • Negrete's big dreams defy her modest means.
  • If anyone has a better explanation, come defy this one.
  • They'll likely attract more, even though robot wars defy comparison with other sporting or entertainment events.
  • Researchers defy the laws of physics by making a laser beam bend.
  • Why would they defy gravity and spike upwards? I found a spike on a cube in my ice-cube tray.
  • Swarms of self-charging particles defy gravity -- and expectations.
  • Even so, it continues to defy explanation.
  • The surrounding honeycomb of dusty alleyways—or derb—seem to defy navigation.
British Dictionary definitions for defy

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 defy
defy
c.1300, from O.Fr. defier, desfier, from V.L. *disfidare "renounce one's faith," from L. dis- "away" + fidus "faithful." Meaning shifted 14c. from "be disloyal" to "challenge."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for defy

defi

noun

Defiance; notice of act of defiance •Use has not been continuous since the first attestation in 1580: on a signboard, a defi to the On Leongs

[late 1880s+; apparently fr French de´fi]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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11
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