defeat definition, meaning - what is defeat in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “defeat”

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defeat

verb [T] uk   us   /dɪˈfiːt/
B1 to win against someone in a fight, war, or competition: Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo. They defeated the Italian team and reached the final. B2 to cause someone or something to fail: The proposal to change the rules was narrowly defeated (= by a very small number) by 201 votes to 196. Our ambitions for this tournament have been defeated by the weather. I'm afraid anything that involves language learning has always defeated me (= I have been unable to do it).
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defeat

noun [C or U] uk   us   /dɪˈfiːt/
B1 the fact of losing against someone in a fight or competition, or when someone or something is made to fail: In the last election, they suffered a crushing/humiliating defeat. After their defeat in battle, the soldiers surrendered. She admitted/conceded defeat well before all the votes had been counted.
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admit defeat to accept that you cannot do something: I thought I could fix the radio myself, but I had to admit defeat.
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(Definition of defeat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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