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See also: défiant



Borrowed from French défiant, from the verb défier. Doublet of diffident.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈfaɪ(j)ənt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /dɪˈfaɪənt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪənt


defiant (comparative more defiant, superlative most defiant)

  1. Defying.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 15, in The China Governess[1]:
      She paused and took a defiant breath. ‘If you don't believe me, I can't help it. But I'm not a liar.’ ¶ ‘No,’ said Luke, grinning at her. ‘You're not dull enough! [] What about the kid's clothes? I don't suppose they were anything to write home about, but didn't you keep anything? A bootee or a bit of embroidery or anything at all?’
  2. Boldly resisting opposition.
    • 2013 June 18, Simon Romero, “Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders”, in New York Times, retrieved 21 June 2013:
      But the demonstrators remained defiant, pouring into the streets by the thousands and venting their anger over political corruption, the high cost of living and huge public spending for the World Cup and the Olympics.



Derived terms[edit]



defiant (plural defiants)

  1. One who defies opposition.
    • 1966, British Broadcasting Corporation. Monitoring Service, Summary of World Broadcasts: Non-Arab Africa (issues 2262-2303)
      Countries condemning South Africa, Portugal and Rhodesia still find it necessary to trade with these defiants against so-called world opinion.
    • John Michael Doris, Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior (page 48)
      Damn the obedients and hail the defiants if you will; the experiment does not motivate confidence about how particular subjects would behave in markedly dissimilar situations.

Further reading[edit]





  1. third-person plural present active subjunctive of dēfīō