Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

defeat - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] defeat pronunciation in American English /dɪˈfit/
Word Forms
present tense
present participledefeating
past tensedefeated
past participledefeated
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 2
    if something defeats you, it is so difficult that you are unable to do it
    The test completely defeated me.
    new locks that will defeat most thieves
  2. 3
    to prevent something from happening or being successful
    The proposal was defeated by 16 votes to 5.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog