Synonyms of defeat in English:


See US English definition of defeat

See UK English definition of defeat

See Spanish definition of derrota


1‘the victorious army which defeated the Scots at Halidon Hill’

beat, conquer, win against, win a victory over, triumph over, prevail over, get the better of, best, worst, vanquish
rout, trounce, overcome, overpower, overthrow, overwhelm, crush, quash, bring someone to their knees
quell, subjugate, subdue, repulse
informal lick, thrash, hammer, whip, wipe the floor with, walk all over, give someone a hiding, take to the cleaners, blow out of the water, run rings around, run rings round, make mincemeat of, clobber, paste, pound, pulverize, crucify, murder, massacre, slaughter, demolish, drub, give someone a drubbing, cane, zap, flatten, turn inside out, tank, pwn
British informal stuff, marmalize
North American informal blow out, cream, shellac, skunk, slam
US informal own

lose to

2‘budgets should not be so complex that they defeat their purpose’

thwart, block, frustrate, prevent, foil, balk, ruin, put a stop to, scotch, obviate, forestall, debar, snooker, derail
obstruct, impede, hinder, hamper, deter, discomfit
informal put the kibosh on, nip in the bud, put paid to, put the stopper on, do for, stymie
British informal scupper, put the mockers on, nobble

advance, assist

3‘the motion was defeated’

reject, overthrow, throw out, dismiss, outvote, spurn, rebuff, turn down
informal give the thumbs down


4‘I managed to fit to the machine, but how to make it work defeats me’

baffle, puzzle, perplex, bewilder, mystify, bemuse, confuse, confound, frustrate, nonplus, throw
informal beat, flummox, discombobulate, faze, stump, fox, be all Greek to


1‘a crippling defeat for the government’

loss, beating, conquest, conquering, besting, worsting, vanquishing, vanquishment, game, set, and match
rout, trouncing, overpowering, subjugation, subduing
reverse, debacle, downfall
informal thrashing, hiding, drubbing, licking, hammering, whipping, clobbering, pasting, pounding, pulverizing, massacre, slaughter, demolition, caning, flattening, pwnage
US informal ownage


2‘the defeat of his plans’

failure, downfall, breakdown, collapse, ruin, lack of success, discomfiture, rejection, frustration, foundering, misfiring, overthrow, abortion, miscarriage
undoing, reverse
disappointment, setback