Defy meaning

dĭ-fī'
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.

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To be beyond the application or scope of; be contrary or resistant to.

An act that defies explanation; a problem that defies any conventional approach.

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To challenge or dare (someone) to do something.

She defied her accusers to prove their charges.

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To resist or oppose boldly or openly.
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To resist completely in a baffling way.

The puzzle defied solution.

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To dare (someone) to do or prove something.
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To challenge (someone) to fight.
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A defiance or challenge.
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To renounce or dissolve all bonds of affiance, faith, or obligation with; to reject, refuse, or renounce.
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To challenge (someone) to do something difficult.

To defy an enemy; to defy the power of a magistrate; to defy the arguments of an opponent; to defy public opinion.

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To refuse to obey.

If you defy your teacher you will get the strap.

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To not conform to or follow a pattern or certain set of rules.
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(obsolete) A challenge.

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Origin of defy

  • Middle English defien from Old French desfier from Vulgar Latin disfīdāre Latin dis- dis- Latin fīdus faithful bheidh- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Old French desfier, from Vulgar Latin *disfidare (“renounce one's faith”), from Latin dis- (“away”) + fidus (“faithful”). Meaning shifted 14c. from "be disloyal" to "challenge."
    From Wiktionary