English

Definition of defeat verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    defeat

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they defeat
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːt//
     
    he / she / it defeats
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːts//
     
    past simple defeated
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːtɪd//
     
    past participle defeated
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːtɪd//
     
    -ing form defeating
    BrE BrE//dɪˈfiːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈfiːtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  defeat somebody/something to win against somebody in a war, competition, sports game, etc. synonym beat He defeated the champion in three sets. a defeated army The government was defeated by 200 votes to 83.
  2. 2  defeat something to stop something from being successful The motion was defeated by 19 votes. Staying late at the office to discuss shorter working hours rather defeats the object of the exercise!
  3. 3defeat somebody (formal) if something defeats you, you cannot understand it The instruction manual completely defeated me.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘undo, destroy, annul’): from Old French desfait ‘undone’, past participle of desfaire, from medieval Latin disfacere ‘undo’.Extra examples He said it was impossible to defeat the terrorists militarily. Our team was narrowly defeated in the final. The English were decisively defeated by the rebels in the battle that followed. The motion was defeated by 20 votes to 18. The proposed bill was decisively defeated in Parliament. The senator was decisively defeated by his rivals. An opposition vote of no confidence was decisively defeated in parliament. Question 6 defeated us. She narrowly defeated the rival candidate in the leadership contest.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: defeat