2. To prevent the success of; thwart: Internal strife defeats the purpose of teamwork.
3. Law To make void; annul.
1. The act of defeating or state of being defeated.
2. Failure to win.
3. A coming to naught; frustration: the defeat of a lifelong dream.
4. Law The act of making null and void.
[Middle English defeten, from defet, disfigured, from Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire, to destroy, from Medieval Latin disfacere, to destroy, mutilate, undo : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin facere, to do; see dh- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: defeat, conquer, vanquish, beat, rout1, subdue, subjugate, overcome These verbs mean to triumph over an adversary. Defeat is the most general: Whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same (Thomas Paine). Conquer suggests decisive and often wide-scale victory: The Franks . . . having conquered the Gauls, established the kingdom which has taken its name from them (Alexander Hamilton). Vanquish emphasizes total mastery: Napoleons forces were vanquished at Waterloo. Beat is similar to defeat, though less formal and often more emphatic: To win battles . . . you beat the soul . . . of the enemy man (George S. Patton). Rout implies complete victory followed by the disorderly flight of the defeated force: The enemy was routed in the first battle. Subdue suggests mastery and control achieved by overpowering: It cost [the Romans] two great wars, and three great battles, to subdue that little kingdom [Macedonia] (Adam Smith). Subjugate more strongly implies reducing an opponent to submission: The last foreigner to subjugate England was a Norman duke in the Middle Ages named William (Stanley Meisler). To overcome is to prevail over, often by persevering: He overcame his injury after months of physical therapy.
defeat /dfit/ v. [T] 1 to beat, win a victory over: They defeated the enemy after a long war.2 to make fail: Taking work with you defeats the purpose of a vacation. n.1 a victory over: They celebrated their defeat of the enemy.2 a failure, loss: We suffered many small defeats before our business finally succeeded.
Thesaurus: defeat v. 1 to conquer | get the better ofs.o.2to thwart. n. 1 a win, conquest, rout 2 a setback, reverse.