complete, comprehensive (esp. BrE), decisive, heavy, major, overwhelming, resounding, serious, stunning, total

Their party suffered a heavy defeat in the election.

bitter, catastrophic, crushing, devastating, disastrous, embarrassing, humiliating, ignominious (formal)

The battle ended in a humiliating defeat.


They lost 4–3 in their second narrow defeat of the week.

consecutive, successive
final, ultimate
election, electoral, political
accept, admit, concede

She is very determined, and will never admit defeat.

The prime minister conceded defeat and resigned.

experience, suffer
go down to, slump to (both BrE, sports)

The team went down to their fifth consecutive defeat.

reverse (BrE)

A good politician can always reverse any defeats.


We just need to avoid defeat in our last two games.


The army inflicted a heavy defeat on rebel forces.

end in
lead to
defeat against

last week's crushing defeat against their rivals

defeat by

their defeat by the Brazilians

defeat at the hands of sb

The team suffered defeat at the hands of their oldest rivals.

turn defeat into a victory

They turned a military defeat into a media victory.

comprehensively (BrE), convincingly (esp. BrE), decisively, easily, handily (AmE), heavily (BrE), overwhelmingly, roundly, soundly, thoroughly

The English were decisively defeated by the rebels in the battle that followed.

The senator was decisively defeated by his rivals.

completely, totally

He said it was impossible to defeat the terrorists militarily.


Our team was narrowly defeated in the final.

eventually, finally, ultimately

The motion was defeated by 20 votes to 18.

Defeat is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑army
Defeat is used with these nouns as the object: ↑amendment, ↑army, ↑bill, ↑challenger, ↑champion, ↑communism, ↑enemy, ↑evil, ↑fleet, ↑foe, ↑initiative, ↑measure, ↑menace, ↑military, ↑monster, ↑motion, ↑opponent, ↑purpose, ↑rebel, ↑regime, ↑rival, ↑terror, ↑terrorism, ↑tyranny

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • defeat — de·feat vt [Anglo French defait, past participle of defaire to undo, defeat, from Old French deffaire desfaire, from de , prefix marking reversal of action + faire to do] 1 a: to render null third parties will defeat an attached but “unperfected” …   Law dictionary

  • Defeat — De*feat , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Defeated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Defeating}.] [From F. d[ e]fait, OF. desfait, p. p. ofe d[ e]faire, OF. desfaire, to undo; L. dis + facere to do. See {Feat}, {Fact}, and cf. {Disfashion}.] 1. To undo; to disfigure; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • defeat — [n1] overthrow, beating ambush, annihilation, beating, blow, break, breakdown, check, collapse, conquest, count, debacle, defeasance, destruction, discomfiture, downthrow, drubbing*, embarrassment, extermination, failure, fall, insuccess,… …   New thesaurus

  • Defeat — De*feat , n. [Cf. F. d[ e]faite, fr. d[ e]faire. See {Defeat}, v.] 1. An undoing or annulling; destruction. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Upon whose property and most dear life A damned defeat was made. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Frustration by rendering… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Defeat — may be the opposite of victory Debellatio Surrender (military) usually follows a defeat Defeat, piece by a boy (pseudonym Chris Hughes Davis, real name unknown). See also Defeatism Failure List of military disasters …   Wikipedia

  • defeat — (v.) late 14c., from Anglo Fr. defeter, from O.Fr. desfait, pp. of desfaire to undo, from V.L. *diffacere undo, destroy, from L. dis un , not (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + facere to do, perform (see FACTITIOUS (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • defeat — vb beat, *conquer, vanquish, lick, subdue, subjugate, reduce, overcome, surmount, overthrow, rout Analogous words: *frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk, circumvent, outwit deep rooted, Contrasted words: *yield, submit, capitulate, succumb, cave …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • defeat — ► VERB 1) win a victory over. 2) prevent from achieving an aim or prevent (an aim) from being achieved. 3) reject or block (a proposal or motion). ► NOUN ▪ an instance of defeating or the state of being defeated. ORIGIN Old French desfaire, from… …   English terms dictionary

  • defeat — [dē fēt′, difēt′] vt. [ME defeten < defet, disfigured, null and void < OFr desfait, pp. of desfaire, to undo < ML disfacere, to deface, ruin < L dis , from + facere, to DO1] 1. to win victory over; overcome; beat 2. to bring to… …   English World dictionary

  • defeat — de|feat1 W3 [dıˈfi:t] n [U and C] 1.) failure to win or succeed ▪ She was a woman who hated to admit defeat . ▪ The Democratic Party candidate has already conceded defeat . defeat in ▪ The socialist party suffered a crushing defeat in the French… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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