Definition of defeatist in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪˈfiːtɪst/


A person who expects or is excessively ready to accept failure.
Example sentences
  • It also appeals to defeatists, cynics, and worldly-wise men who are not prepared to try to change the system.
  • But does she not strengthen those defeatists when she writes of the EU poll: ‘The Europeans want to see that initiative eliminated, too.’
  • He talked about economic isolationism, defeatists, protectionists, who is talking about protectionism, who is talking about economic isolationism.
pessimist, fatalist, yielder, cynic, prophet of doom, doomwatcher;
misery, killjoy, worrier, Job's comforter
informal quitter, doom and gloom merchant, doomster, wet blanket


Demonstrating expectation or acceptance of failure: we have a duty not to be so defeatist
More example sentences
  • Keeping warm, romantic ideas close was better than letting the pessimistic, defeatist attitude be victorious within her.
  • ‘That, brought with it a kind of defeatist attitude, a lot of psychological baggage,’ he says.
  • It's this kind of defeatist attitude which is keeping me away from the national media spotlight.



Pronunciation: /dɪˈfiːtɪz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • Such parental pressure, could lead to a distorted perspective, disappointment, defeatism, withdrawal, hurt, anger and much worse.
  • In any case I ask all our friends not to be too emotional and weak stomached, and above all not to help the enemy in what he is desperate to achieve, i.e. defeatism and despair.
  • But what I heard in Art's voice was a sound of such despair and defeatism, that, you know, it was clear that he'd given up.


Early 20th century: from French défaitiste, from défaite 'defeat'.

Words that rhyme with defeatist

completist, Docetist, élitist, graffitist

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de¦feat|ist

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.