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English definition of “defy”

defy

verb [T] uk   /dɪˈfaɪ/ us  
C2 to refuse to obey a person, decision, law, situation, etc.: It is rare to see children were openly defying their teachers. A few workers have defied the majority decision and gone into work despite the strike. The fact that aircraft don't fall out of the sky always seems to me to defy (= act against) the law of gravity. A forest fire raging in the south of France is defying (= is not changed by) all attempts to control it.Refusing and rejectingOpposing and against defy belief/description/explanation C2 to be extreme or very strange and therefore impossible to believe, describe, or explain: The chaos at the airport defies description.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting defy sb to do sth to tell someone to do something that you think will be impossible: I defy you to prove your accusations. I defy you to tell where I've painted over the scratch on my car.Giving orders and commands
(Definition of defy from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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