Definition of defiance in English:



mass noun
  • Open resistance; bold disobedience.

    ‘an act of defiance’
    ‘the demonstration was held in defiance of official warnings’
    • ‘The rally proceeded in defiance of threats of legal action by the government and a massive police presence.’
    • ‘This growing support for the protests has come in defiance of Germany's official trade unions.’
    • ‘It was a work created in defiance of official notions of good taste and Soviet political correctness.’
    • ‘For one fleeting moment the world has acted together in defiance of the group, whose isolation is now exposed for all to see.’
    • ‘The next day, a larger number of vendors swarmed the square in defiance of the authorities.’
    • ‘Her eyes turned to Beatrice and locked in defiance of her former mistress.’
    • ‘The numbers of settlements and settlers continue to increase in defiance of the law.’
    • ‘School boards outside Toronto are also edging toward budgeting in defiance of provincial laws.’
    • ‘I clamped them together around the brim of my hat, as if in defiance of them being taken.’
    • ‘Any structures erected in defiance of this law would be demolished, he warned.’
    • ‘Any who fail are to be considered in defiance of This Council and dealt with accordingly.’
    • ‘This is in defiance of a government order that Tommy should be investigated for evading the law.’
    • ‘Still the sight of Cassandra's tears forced her to continue in defiance of the facts.’
    • ‘The workers acted in defiance of a Labor Ministry order for mandatory conciliation.’
    • ‘Some 5,000 caravans are thought to be on green field or protected land in defiance of planning laws.’
    resistance, opposition, confrontation
    View synonyms


Middle English (denoting the renunciation of an allegiance or friendship): from Old French, from defier ‘defy’.