defeat Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “defeat” in the English Dictionary

"defeat" in British English

See all translations

defeatverb [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 ​Italianteam and ​reached the ​final. B2 to ​cause someone or something to ​fail: The ​proposal to ​change the ​rules was narrowly defeated (= by a very ​smallnumber) by 201 ​votes to 196. Our ​ambitions for this ​tournament have been defeated by the ​weather. I'm ​afraid anything that ​involveslanguagelearning has always defeated me (= I have been ​unable to do it).

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

defeatnoun [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 ​soldierssurrendered. She admitted/​conceded defeat well before all the ​votes had been ​counted.
Compare
admit defeat to ​accept that you cannot do something: I ​thought I could ​fix the ​radio myself, but I had to ​admit defeat.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of defeat from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"defeat" in American English

See all translations

defeatverb [T]

 us   /dɪˈfit/
to ​oppose and ​cause someone to ​lose in a ​competition or ​war so that you can ​win: Bill Clinton defeated George Bush for the ​presidency in 1992.

defeatnoun [C/U]

 us   /dɪˈfit/
success in ​competition with an ​opponent, causing the ​opponent to ​lose so that you can ​win: [U] In the American Civil War, the North’s defeat of the ​Southinvolvedtremendousloss of ​life on both ​sides. A defeat is also the ​action or ​fact of ​losing a ​competition or ​war: [C] This was the team’s fifth ​straight defeat.
(Definition of defeat from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of defeat?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“defeat” in British English

“defeat” in American English

Word of the Day

costume

the set of clothes typical of a particular country or period of history, or suitable for a particular activity

Word of the Day

I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
by Kate Woodford,
February 10, 2016
On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More