Share this entry
American English: /dəˈfit/
British English: /dɪˈfiːt/

Translation of defeat in Spanish:


uncountable and countable
  • 1 (by opponent) after their defeat of the rebels
    tras derrotar a los rebeldes
    to suffer (a) defeat they suffered (a) defeat at the hands of the Turks
    fueron derrotados por los turcos
    to accept or admit defeat
    Example sentences
    • They have made no progress between their landslide defeat in the 1997 election and their second defeat in 2001.
    • The two election defeats were put down to an inability to convince the electorate that they could be trusted with the nation's finances.
    • It's not helped by an Opposition that has failed to respect its time-honoured tradition of turning on and devouring itself after successive election defeats.

transitive verb

  • 2
    we were defeated in our attempt to climb Everest
    nuestro intento de escalar el Everest se vio frustrado
    it was lack of funds that defeated us
    fue la falta de fondos lo que nos hizo fracasar
    to defeat one's own ends/purpose
    ir en contra de sus ( or mis etc. ) propios intereses
    that would defeat the object or purpose of the exercise
    eso iría en contra de lo que se pretende lograr
    Example sentences
    • The closure of a further service facility in rural areas will completely defeat this aim.
    • I, of course, prefer giving the constitution's limits effect over a restraint that defeat the constitution's aim.
    • Thirdly, it is the accused himself who, by drinking after the event, defeats the aim of the legislature by doing something which makes the scientific test potentially unreliable.
    Example sentences
    • The counter proposal was defeated by 6 votes to 2.
    • When it was initially proposed early in 2001, the motion was defeated by the combined votes of the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael councillors.
    • It was a clever stratagem for defeating the tax proposals without incurring the popular odium for doing so.
  • 4 (baffle) [colloquial]it defeats me
    no alcanzo a comprenderlo
    Example sentences
    • Every time you think you have a handle on it, you are simply defeated by the impossible vastness of even the smallest aspects of space.
    • For reasons that defeat us, The Road Goes On Forever has been out of print for 20 years.
    • While some may see this as an instance of human narcissism defeating scientific understanding, we would do better to see it as a reason for tempering the narcissism of science.
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.