ADJ. bitter, catastrophic, complete, comprehensive, crushing, decisive, devastating, disastrous, heavy, humiliating, ignominious, overwhelming, resounding, serious, stunning Their party suffered a heavy defeat in the election. The battle ended in a humiliating defeat. | narrow They lost 4?3 in their second narrow defeat of the week. | consecutive, successive | election, electoral, political | military
VERB + DEFEAT accept, admit, concede She is very determined, and will never admit defeat. The prime minister conceded defeat and resigned. | face | go down to, slump to, to suffer The team went down to their fifth consecutive defeat. | reverse A skilful politician can always reverse any defeats. | avoid We just need to avoid defeat in our last two matches. | inflict The army inflicted a heavy defeat on rebel forces. | end in | lead to
PREP. ~ against last week's crushing defeat against Manchester United | ~ by their defeat by the French
PHRASES defeat at the hands of sb The team suffered defeat at the hands of their oldest rivals.
ADV. comprehensively, convincingly, decisively, easily, heavily, soundly, totally The English were heavily defeated by the Scots in the battle that followed. The proposed bill was decisively defeated in Parliament. | narrowly Our team was narrowly defeated in the final. | eventually, finally, ultimately
PREP. by The motion was defeated by 20 votes to 18.