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Definition of “defy” - English Dictionary

"defy" in American English

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defyverb [T]

us   /dɪˈfɑɪ/
to refuse to obey or to do something in the usual or expected way: They defied an evacuation order and stayed in town during the hurricane. He defied the odds (= did what no one expected) and won the race for mayor.
defiant
adjective us   /dɪˈfɑɪ·ənt/
She is defiant, angry, and tough.
defiantly
adverb us   /dɪˈfɑɪ·ənt·li/
When I said she might fail, she replied defiantly, “No, I won’t!”
(Definition of defy from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"defy" in British English

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defyverb [T]

uk   /dɪˈfaɪ/ us   /dɪˈfaɪ/
C2 to refuse to obey a person, decision, law, situation, etc.: It is rare to see children 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 southern California is defying (= is not changed by) all attempts to control it.
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.
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.

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(Definition of defy from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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