- 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 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!
- 3defeat somebody (formal) if something defeats you, you cannot understand it The instruction manual completely defeated me. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘undo, destroy, annul’): from Old French desfait
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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//