From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: défiance and Defiance


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English defiaunce, from Old French desfiance, from desfier. By surface analysis, defy +‎ -ance.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈfaɪ(j)əns/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪəns


defiance (countable and uncountable, plural defiances)

  1. The feeling, or spirit of being defiant.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
  2. Open or bold resistance to or disregard for authority, opposition, or power; refusing to give up.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Citadel:
      Ambassador Udina: The other species are scared. They've never faced anything like this before and they don't know what to do. They want us to step forward. They believe in humanity because of you.
      Ambassador Udina: Your ruthless pursuit of Saren and the geth, your defiance of the Council -- that's what humans are capable of! That's how we can defeat the Reapers!
    • 2022 February 25, Todd Piro, 0:03 from the start, in Ukrainian guards tell Russian troops to 'go F yourself' in viral audio[1], Fox News:
      Ainsley: Amid the death and all the destruction: a story of heroism.
      Steve: Thirteen Ukrainian border guards defending a small island in the Black Sea defy an invading Russian warship.
      Will: Todd Piro is here now with the details on the defiance that cost them, ultimately, their lives- Todd.
      Todd: That's right Steve, Ainsley and Will- the ultimate act of defiance- the ultimate price paid. Ukrainian border guards defending a Black Sea island defiantly telling an invading Russian warship to 'go F yourself' when asked to surrender, and then killed when that warship opened fire.
  3. A challenging attitude or behaviour; challenge.

Derived terms[edit]