- To defy is defined as to work against or resist something.
An example of to defy is to break a law by going on land that is posted with a no trespassing sign.
defy definition by Webster's New World
- to resist or oppose boldly or openly
- to resist completely in a baffling way: the puzzle defied solution
- to dare (someone) to do or prove something
- Archaic to challenge (someone) to fight
Origin: Middle English defien ; from Old French defier, to distrust, repudiate, defy ; from Late Latin an unverified form disfidare ; from dis-, from plush an unverified form fidare, to trust ; from fidus, faithful: see faith
defy definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb de·fied, de·fy·ing, de·fies
- a. To oppose or resist with boldness and assurance: defied the blockade by sailing straight through it.b. To refuse to submit to or cooperate with: defied the court order by leaving the country.
- To be unaffected by; resist or withstand: “So the plague defied all medicines” (Daniel Defoe).
- To challenge or dare (someone) to do something: She defied her accusers to prove their charges.
Origin: Middle English defien, from Old French desfier, from Vulgar Latin *disfīdāre : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin fīdus, faithful; see bheidh- in Indo-European roots.