defeat Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “defeat” in the English Dictionary

"defeat" in British English

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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).

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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.

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

"defeat" in American English

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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)
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“defeat” in British English

“defeat” in American English

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