defeat collocations and examples

 UK /dɪˈfiːt/

Explore meanings in the Dictionary

failure to win or succeed


Adjectives frequently used with defeat
bad: bad, big, heavy, majorTheir heaviest defeat came in 1995 when they lost to Croatia 4–0.very bad: catastrophic, crushing, devastating, disastrous, dismal, massiveThe British suffered one of their most disastrous defeats of the war.total or clear: comprehensive, decisive, resounding, totalA decisive defeat of the enemy was only possible if the Vikings could be brought to battle.embarrassing or disappointing: disappointing, embarrassing, humiliating, ignominiousThe Social Democrats suffered an ignominious defeat in the regional election.not bad: narrowThey were lucky to have escaped with such a narrow defeat.happening one after the other: consecutive, straight, successiveThe team were desperate to avoid a fourth straight defeat.unexpected: shock, surprise, unexpectedThey were knocked out of the competition after a shock defeat.
Verbs frequently used with defeat
suffer a defeat: crash to, face, slip to, slump to, suffer, tasteThe party had suffered four general election defeats.admit defeat: accept, acknowledge, admit, concedeHe had to admit defeat and accept that he had been wrong.

Usage note

Defeat is always uncountable in these combinations: He had to admit defeat. They can choose to concede defeat or fight back.

avoid defeat: avoidThe first task was to avoid defeat in the opening game.make someone suffer a defeat: inflictThey managed to inflict an embarrassing defeat on the Italians.get revenge for a defeat: avengeThe world champion avenged her defeat in Melbourne by beating Kitchen 9–6, 4–9, 9–6.be likely to suffer a defeat: face, stare in the faceAfter losing the first two sets, Nadal was staring defeat in the face.
 
Vocabulary quiz: trending words of 2020

Macmillan learn live love play