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tr.v. de·feat·ed, de·feat·ing, de·feats
1. To do better than (another) in a competition or battle; win victory over; beat: "Whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same" (Thomas Paine).
2. To prevent the success of; thwart: Internal strife defeats the purpose of teamwork.
3. Law
a. To frustrate the enforcement of (a motion, for example).
b. To make (an estate, for example) void; annul.
a. To dishearten or dispirit: The last setback defeated her, and she gave up.
b. To be beyond the comprehension of; mystify: How the children found their way back home defeats me.
a. The act of defeating an opponent: the home team's defeat of their rivals.
b. The state of being defeated; failure to win: the home team's defeat by their rivals.
2. A coming to naught; frustration: the defeat of a lifelong dream.
3. Law
a. The act of overcoming or frustrating the enforcement of.
b. Law The act of making null and void.

[Middle English defeten, from defet, disfigured, from Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire, to destroy, from Medieval Latin disfacere, to destroy, mutilate, undo : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin facere, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

de·feat′er n.
Synonyms: defeat, beat, conquer, rout1, vanquish
These verbs mean to triumph over an adversary: defeated the opposing team by fourteen points; beat her competitor in the race for first place; conquered the enemy after a long battle; routed all opposition due to a brilliant strategy; vanquished the marauding army in a surprise attack.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr)
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) law to render null and void; annul
4. the act of defeating or state of being defeated
5. an instance of defeat
6. overthrow or destruction
7. (Law) law an annulment
[C14: from Old French desfait, from desfaire to undo, ruin, from des- dis-1 + faire to do, from Latin facere]
deˈfeater n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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.
5. the act of overcoming in a contest.
6. an instance of defeat; setback.
7. an overthrow or overturning; downfall; abolition.
8. Archaic. destruction; ruin.
[1325–75; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire to undo, destroy < Medieval Latin disfacere= Latin dis- dis-1 + facere to do]
de•feat′er, n.
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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'win'

If you win a war, fight, game, or contest, you defeat your opponent. The past tense and -ed participle of win is won /wʌn/.

We won the game easily.
The party had won a great victory.
2. 'defeat' and 'beat'

Don't say that someone 'wins' an enemy or opponent. In a war or battle, you say that one side defeats the other.

The French defeated the English troops.

In a game or contest, you say that one person or side defeats or beats the other.

He defeated his rival in the semi-finals and went on to win the tournament.
She beat him at chess.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: defeated
Gerund: defeating

I defeat
you defeat
he/she/it defeats
we defeat
you defeat
they defeat
I defeated
you defeated
he/she/it defeated
we defeated
you defeated
they defeated
Present Continuous
I am defeating
you are defeating
he/she/it is defeating
we are defeating
you are defeating
they are defeating
Present Perfect
I have defeated
you have defeated
he/she/it has defeated
we have defeated
you have defeated
they have defeated
Past Continuous
I was defeating
you were defeating
he/she/it was defeating
we were defeating
you were defeating
they were defeating
Past Perfect
I had defeated
you had defeated
he/she/it had defeated
we had defeated
you had defeated
they had defeated
I will defeat
you will defeat
he/she/it will defeat
we will defeat
you will defeat
they will defeat
Future Perfect
I will have defeated
you will have defeated
he/she/it will have defeated
we will have defeated
you will have defeated
they will have defeated
Future Continuous
I will be defeating
you will be defeating
he/she/it will be defeating
we will be defeating
you will be defeating
they will be defeating
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been defeating
you have been defeating
he/she/it has been defeating
we have been defeating
you have been defeating
they have been defeating
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been defeating
you will have been defeating
he/she/it will have been defeating
we will have been defeating
you will have been defeating
they will have been defeating
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been defeating
you had been defeating
he/she/it had been defeating
we had been defeating
you had been defeating
they had been defeating
I would defeat
you would defeat
he/she/it would defeat
we would defeat
you would defeat
they would defeat
Past Conditional
I would have defeated
you would have defeated
he/she/it would have defeated
we would have defeated
you would have defeated
they would have defeated
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.defeat - an unsuccessful ending to a struggle or contestdefeat - an unsuccessful ending to a struggle or contest; "it was a narrow defeat"; "the army's only defeat"; "they suffered a convincing licking"
conclusion, ending, finish - event whose occurrence ends something; "his death marked the ending of an era"; "when these final episodes are broadcast it will be the finish of the show"
failure - an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose; "the surprise party was a complete failure"
heartbreaker - a narrow defeat or a defeat at the last minute
lurch - a decisive defeat in a game (especially in cribbage)
rout - an overwhelming defeat
shutout, skunk - a defeat in a game where one side fails to score
waterloo - a final crushing defeat; "he met his waterloo"
whitewash - a defeat in which the losing person or team fails to score
triumph, victory - a successful ending of a struggle or contest; "a narrow victory"; "the general always gets credit for his army's victory"; "clinched a victory"; "convincing victory"; "the agreement was a triumph for common sense"
2.defeat - the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goalsdefeat - the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals
disappointment, letdown - a feeling of dissatisfaction that results when your expectations are not realized; "his hopes were so high he was doomed to disappointment"
Verb1.defeat - 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"
demolish, destroy - defeat soundly; "The home team demolished the visitors"
beat, beat out, vanquish, trounce, crush, shell - come out better in a competition, race, or conflict; "Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship"; "We beat the competition"; "Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game"
wallop - defeat soundly and utterly; "We'll wallop them!"
down - bring down or defeat (an opponent)
overrun - seize the position of and defeat; "the Crusaders overran much of the Holy Land"
skunk, lurch - defeat by a lurch
rout, rout out, expel - cause to flee; "rout out the fighters from their caves"
upset - defeat suddenly and unexpectedly; "The foreign team upset the local team"
nose - defeat by a narrow margin
conquer - overcome by conquest; "conquer your fears"; "conquer a country"
make it, pull round, pull through, survive, come through - continue in existence after (an adversity, etc.); "He survived the cancer against all odds"
2.defeat - thwart the passage ofdefeat - thwart the passage of; "kill a motion"; "he shot down the student's proposal"
negative, veto, blackball - vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent; "The President vetoed the bill"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. beat, crush, overwhelm, conquer, stuff (slang), master, worst, tank (slang), overthrow, lick (informal), undo, subdue, rout, overpower, quell, trounce, clobber (slang), vanquish, repulse, subjugate, run rings around (informal), wipe the floor with (informal), make mincemeat of (informal), pip at the post, outplay, blow out of the water (slang) His guerrillas defeated the colonial army.
beat lose, yield, bow, submit, surrender, succumb, cave in (informal)
2. frustrate, foil, thwart, ruin, baffle, confound, balk, get the better of, forestall, stymie The challenges of constructing such a huge novel almost defeated her.
3. overthrow, destroy, ruin, upset, overturn, demolish, put an end to, subvert, put paid to, bring to ruin He swore to defeat the plan.
1. conquest, beating, overthrow, pasting (slang), rout, debacle, trouncing, repulse, vanquishment The vote was seen as something of a defeat for the lobbyists.
conquest success, victory, triumph
2. frustration, failure, reverse, disappointment, setback, thwarting the final defeat of all his hopes
"Defeat is a thing of weariness, of incoherence, of boredom. And above all futility" [Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Flight to Arras]
"Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan" [Count Galeazzo Giano Diary]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To win a victory over, as in battle or a competition:
Informal: trim, whip.
Slang: ace, lick.
Idioms: carry the day, get the best of, get the better of, go someone one better.
2. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose:
Informal: cross, stump.
The act of defeating or the condition of being defeated:
Slang: dusting, licking.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
هَزِيـمَةهَزيمَه، إنْدِحار، إنْكِساريَتَغَلَّب عَلى، يَفوز، يَقْهَر، يَهْزِميَهْزِمُ
شکست دادن
defetizmasnesitikėjimas laimėtipesimistinispralaimėjimas
đánh bạisự thất bại


A. N [of army, team] → derrota f; [of ambition, plan] → fracaso m; [of bill, amendment] → rechazo m
eventually he admitted defeatal final se dio por vencido
B. VT [+ army, team, opponent] → vencer, derrotar; [+ plan, ambition] → hacer fracasar, frustrar; [+ hopes] → frustrar, defraudar (Pol) [+ party] → derrotar; [+ bill, amendment] → rechazar (fig) → vencer
this will defeat its own endsesto será contraproducente
the problem defeats meel problema me supera
it defeated all our effortsburló todos nuestros esfuerzos
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n [army] → défaite f; [team] → défaite f
defeat by → défaite par
Germany's 2-1 defeat by Sweden → la défaite de l'Allemagne par deux buts à un face à la Suède
to be a defeat for sb → être un échec pour qn
(= beat) [+ team, opponent] → battre; [+ party] → battre
to be defeated in an election [party] → être battu(e) à une élection
to be defeated (= not adopted) [proposal] → rejeter
[+ plans, efforts] → faire échouer
to defeat sb (= be too difficult for) [challenge, task] → mettre qn en échec
The zip defeated him → La fermeture éclair le mit en échec.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (= defeating)Besiegung f, → Sieg m (→ of über +acc); (of motion, bill)Ablehnung f; (of hopes, plans)Vereitelung f; (= being defeated)Niederlage f; their defeat of the enemyihr Sieg über den Feind; their defeat by the enemyihre Besiegung or Niederlage durch den Feind; to admit defeatsich geschlagen geben; to suffer a defeateine Niederlage erleiden
vt army, teambesiegen, schlagen; governmenteine Niederlage beibringen (+dat), → besiegen; motion, billablehnen; hopes, plansvereiteln; to defeat one’s own ends or objectsich (dat or acc)ins eigene Fleisch schneiden; that would be defeating the purpose of the exercisedann verliert die Übung ihren Sinn; it defeats me why … (inf)es will mir einfach nicht in den Kopf, warum … (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. n (of army, team) → sconfitta; (more serious) → disfatta; (of ambition, plan) → fallimento, insuccesso
2. vt (army, team, opponent) → sconfiggere, battere; (plan, ambition, efforts) → frustrare (Pol) (party) → sconfiggere; (bill, amendment) → respingere
to defeat one's own ends → far fallire i propri obiettivi
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(diˈfiːt) verb
to win a victory over. They defeated our team by three goals; We will defeat the enemy eventually.
the loss of a game, battle, race etc. His defeat in the last race depressed him; We suffered yet another defeat.
deˈfeated adjective
(negative undefeated). a defeated enemy.
deˈfeatism noun
a state of mind in which one expects and accepts defeat too easily. The defeatism of the captain affects the rest of the players.
deˈfeatist noun, adjective
(of) a person who gives up too easily and is too easily discouraged. She is such a defeatist; She has a defeatist attitude to life.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


هَزِيـمَة, يَهْزِمُ porazit, porážka besejre, nederlag besiegen, Niederlage ήττα, νικώ derrota, derrotar tappio, voittaa battre, défaite poraz, poraziti sconfiggere, sconfitta 負かす, 負け 쳐부수다, 패배 nederlaag, verslaan nederlag, tape pokonać, porażka derrota, derrotar наносить поражение, поражение besegra, nederlag ความพ่ายแพ้, ทำให้พ่ายแพ้ yenilgi, yenmek đánh bại, sự thất bại 击败
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
He was not cast down by this defeat of his plan, for, upon studying the affair carefully, he could not but admit that the objections were very formidable.
By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.
"Forbear to grieve, fair knight, for this is not a defeat. We have brains, you and I; and for such as have brains there are no defeats, but only victories.
The twins considered that success in the election would reinstate them, and that defeat would work them irreparable damage.
She flashed a sudden look upon him which more than compensated him for his defeat. At least he had earned her respect that day, as a man who knew how to accept defeat gracefully.
All places submitted to the Mahometan, whose insolence increased every day with his power; and nothing after the defeat of the Portuguese was supposed able to put a stop to the progress of his arms.
Our former defeat was due to the fact that the girl Dorothy had a Yellow Hen with her.
(2) Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis, warned by an oracle that he should be killed by his son-in-law, offered his daughter Hippodamia to the man who could defeat him in a chariot race, on condition that the defeated suitors should be slain by him.
These associations were practically middle- class affairs, and now, compelled by hard times and crashing markets, and aided by the great captains of industry, they gave organized labor an awful and decisive defeat. It was an all- powerful alliance, but it was an alliance of the lion and the lamb, as the middle class was soon to learn.
Though there was no definite news of an Austrian defeat, there were many circumstances confirming the unfavorable rumors that were afloat, and so Kutuzov's suggestion of an Austrian victory sounded much like irony.
Zeb was greatly astonished at his defeat, and when the pretty Princess joined her people in laughing at him he proposed a boxing-match with the Munchkin, to which the little Ozite readily agreed.
It is a catastrophe, a defeat. To be "run ashore" has the littleness, poignancy, and bitterness of human error.