From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdefeatde‧feat1 /dɪˈfiːt/ ●●● W3 noun [countable, uncountable] 1 BEAT/DEFEATfailure to win or succeeddefeat in The socialist party suffered a crushing defeat in the elections. She was a woman who hated to admit defeat.2 BEAT/DEFEATvictory over someone or somethingdefeat of The defeat of the army was followed by the establishment of constitutional government.COLLOCATIONSverbssuffer a defeat (=be defeated)The party suffered a defeat in the state elections.inflict a defeat on somebody (=defeat someone, especially easily)The army inflicted a heavy defeat on the English.admit defeatIf I left my job, I would be admitting defeat.accept defeatIt can be very hard to accept defeat.concede defeat (=formally accept that you have lost in a game, election etc)His opponent conceded defeat.face defeat (=be likely to be defeated)In May 1945 Germany faced defeat at the hands of the Allies.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + defeata big/bad defeat (also a heavy defeat British English) (=by a large amount)The polls were forecasting a heavy defeat for the president.a crushing/resounding defeat (=a complete defeat, by a very large amount)He quit as prime minister following a crushing defeat in regional elections.a humiliating defeat (=very embarrassing)They are still bitter about their humiliating defeat. a disastrous defeat (=very big, and with a very bad result)The party suffered a disastrous defeat in the 2006 election.a narrow defeat (=by a small amount)The goalkeeper was blamed for the team’s narrow defeat.an election/electoral defeatIt was their worst general election defeat since 1982.a military defeatThe president resigned following a series of military defeats.a shock defeat British English (=very unexpected)Arsenal are now out of the competition, following their shock defeat by Torquay Town.
Examples from the Corpusdefeat• A strike is a defeat - a defeat for all.• In previous decades this would signify certain defeat for the revolution.• an election defeat• After his third successive election defeat he decided to retire from politics.• It was the Christian Democratic Party's fourth successive electoral defeat.• Mr Taylor blamed bad publicity for his defeat by Mr Jones.• In the last game of the season they suffered a humiliating defeat, losing 7-0 to Real Madrid.• But they knew that it was a humiliating defeat.• She retired from the sport after suffering a series of humiliating defeats.• The captain offered no excuses for his team's humiliating defeat.• They would wipe out the shame of their ignominious defeat!• The New York Times described the withdrawal of troops as a resounding defeat for the government.• Scotland's defeat of Spain• Religious grumbles continued, but the Government's only serious defeat was over equal pay for women teachers.• The Bob Jones issue was one of the keys to Bush's equally stunning defeat in Michigan only three days later.• They came back from the defeat in Texas to take the next four games.• Once broken through, the door was not closed again until the defeat of the Huns at Chalons-sur-Marne in 451.• the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloodefeat of• World leaders were pleased with the defeat of the military coup.defeatdefeat2 ●●● W3 verb [transitive] 1 BEAT/DEFEATto win a victory over someone in a war, competition, game etc SYN beat They hoped to defeat the enemy at sea.defeat somebody by something We were defeated by 3 goals to 2.► see thesaurus at beatRegisterIn everyday English, people usually say beat rather than defeat when talking about sport, games, or elections: We were beaten by 3 goals to 2.2 UNDERSTAND#if something defeats you, you cannot understand it and therefore cannot answer or deal with it SYN beat It was the last question on the paper that defeated me.3 FAILto make something faildefeat the object/purpose (of the exercise) Don’t let your arms relax as that would defeat the object of the exercise.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdefeat• When Jefferson defeated Adams for the presidency, Adams left town before the inauguration rather than shake hands with him.• They were finally defeated and no other enemy entered Attica as long as Theseus lived.• Polk of California was defeated by a Democratic challenger in the last election.• For the sixth consecutive year, Oxford defeated Cambridge today in the annual boat race.• Sanchez defeated Dornan by just 984 votes.• Though he had defeated heavyweight champion Sonny Liston and defended his title nine times, Ali never had a dramatic constituency before.• The Republicans were heavily defeated in the Spanish Civil War.• Normally my hearing loss isn't a problem, but the telephone defeats me.• In 1692, de Tourville's fleet was defeated near the coast of Cherbourg.• Eloquence alone was sufficient to defeat the motion.• The army was well-trained and well-armed, and had little difficulty defeating the rebels.• It was a lack of money, not effort, that defeated their plan.• That would enable the Harijans to nominate their bravest, most outspoken champions, and the Hindus could never defeat them.defeat the object/purpose (of the exercise)• Water quality would not be improved because of the extra load on the system, which defeats the object.• This, of course, defeats the purpose for which the medication is being given.• This obviously defeated the purpose of bail, which is to assure that the defendant will appear in court.• Such a procedure, of course, defeats the object of classification.• If they become a chore, they defeat the purpose of helping the child to want to interact with you.• Hollows attract water, which obviously defeats the object of the exercise: to create a waterproof hat.• This anxiety will cause tension which defeats the purpose of the exercise.• They are defeating the purpose of the Peace Corps and they are unhappy.Origin defeat2 (1300-1400) Anglo-French defeter “to destroy”, from Medieval Latin disfacere, from Latin facere “to do”