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Defy definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DEFY, v.t.
1. To dare; to provoke to combat or strife, by appealing to the courage of another; to invite one to contest; to challenge; as, Goliath defied the armies of Israel.
2. To dare; to brave; to offer to hazard a conflict by manifesting a contempt of opposition, attack or hostile force; as, to defy the arguments of an opponent; to defy the power of the magistrate.
Were we to abolish the common law, it would rise triumphant above its own ruins, deriding and defying its impotent enemies.
3. To challenge to say or do any thing.
DEFY, n. A challenge.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: resist or confront with resistance; "The politician defied public opinion"; "The new material withstands even the greatest wear and tear"; "The bridge held" [syn: defy, withstand, hold, hold up]
2: elude, especially in a baffling way; "This behavior defies explanation" [syn: defy, resist, refuse] [ant: apply, lend oneself]
3: challenge; "I dare you!" [syn: defy, dare]

Merriam Webster's

I. transitive verb (defied; defying) Etymology: Middle English, to renounce faith in, challenge, from Anglo-French desfier, defier, from des- de- + fier to entrust, from Vulgar Latin *fidare, alteration of Latin fidere to trust more at bide Date: 14th century 1. archaic to challenge to combat 2. to challenge to do something considered impossible ; dare 3. to confront with assured power of resistance ; disregard <defy public opinion> 4. to resist attempts at ; withstand <the paintings defy classification> II. noun (plural defies) Date: 1580 challenge, defiance

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 resist openly; refuse to obey. 2 (of a thing) present insuperable obstacles to (defies solution). 3 (foll. by to + infin.) challenge (a person) to do or prove something. 4 archaic challenge to combat. Etymology: ME f. OF defier f. Rmc (as DIS-, L fidus faithful)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Defy De*fy", n. A challenge. [Obs.] --Dryden.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Defy De*fy", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Defied; p. pr. & vb. n. Defying.] [F. d['e]fier, OF. deffier, desfier, LL. disfidare to disown faith or fidelity, to dissolve the bond of allegiance, as between the vassal and his lord; hence, to challenge, defy; fr. L. dis- + fides faith. See Faith, and cf. Diffident, Affiance.] 1. To renounce or dissolve all bonds of affiance, faith, or obligation with; to reject, refuse, or renounce. [Obs.] I defy the surety and the bond. --Chaucer. For thee I have defied my constant mistress. --Beau. & Fl. 2. To provoke to combat or strife; to call out to combat; to challenge; to dare; to brave; to set at defiance; to treat with contempt; as, to defy an enemy; to defy the power of a magistrate; to defy the arguments of an opponent; to defy public opinion. I once again Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight. --Milton. I defy the enemies of our constitution to show the contrary. --Burke.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(defies, defying, defied) 1. If you defy someone or something that is trying to make you behave in a particular way, you refuse to obey them and behave in that way. This was the first (and last) time that I dared to defy my mother... VERB: V n 2. If you defy someone to do something, you challenge them to do it when you think that they will be unable to do it or too frightened to do it. I defy you to come up with one major accomplishment of the current Prime Minister... = dare VERB: V n to-inf 3. If something defies description or understanding, it is so strange, extreme, or surprising that it is almost impossible to understand or explain. It's a devastating and barbaric act that defies all comprehension. VERB: no passive, no cont, V n

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

de-fi' (charaph, za`am): In 1Sa 17:10,25,26,36,45 (the story of David and Goliath) and kindred passages, this word is used in its most familiar sense--"to taunt," "challenge to combat" (Hebrew charaph). In Nu 23:7,8 "denounce" would be a better translation than "defy" (Hebrew za`am).

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. a. 1. Challenge, dare, bid defiance to, hurl defiance at, call to combat. 2. Brave, disregard, slight, scorn, spurn, de spise, contemn, flout, treat with contempt, trample on, set at nought, snap the fingers at, set at defiance.

Moby Thesaurus

affront, attack, baffle, balk, battle cry, be a man, be proof against, bear up, bear up against, beard, bid defiance, bid to combat, blast, brave, brazen out, break, break the law, breast, bring before, bring forward, bring up, call out, care naught for, cartel, challenge, checkmate, circumvent, confound, confront, confront with, contravene, counter, counteract, countermand, counterwork, cross, dare, dash, declare war, defeat, defi, deride, destroy, discomfit, disconcert, discountenance, dish, disobey, disregard, disrupt, do violence to, double dare, double-dare, elude, encounter, endure, envisage, face, face out, face with, flout, flummox, foil, front, frustrate, gage, gage of battle, gauntlet, gibe, glove, go counter to, have the guts, have the nerve, hold out, hold up, ignore, infringe, knock the chocks, lay before, levy war on, make bold to, make war on, meet, meet squarely, mock, nonplus, not conform, not heed, not keep, not listen, not mind, not observe, open hostilities, outdare, outface, perplex, place before, present to, put it to, rebel yell, rebuff, refuse to cooperate, repel, repulse, resist, ridicule, ruin, sabotage, scoff at, scorn, scotch, scout, scream defiance, set at defiance, set at naught, set before, set naught by, show fight, spike, spoil, stand, stand up, stand up to, stare down, stem, stonewall, stump, thwart, trample on, trample underfoot, trample upon, transgress, trespass, upset, venture, violate, war cry, war whoop, withstand


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