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Defy   /dɪfˈaɪ/   Listen
Defy

verb
(past & past part. defied; pres. part. defying)
1.
Resist or confront with resistance.  Synonyms: hold, hold up, withstand.  "The new material withstands even the greatest wear and tear" , "The bridge held"
2.
Elude, especially in a baffling way.  Synonyms: refuse, resist.
3.
Challenge.  Synonym: dare.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Defy" Quotes from Famous Books



... continent of Europe face to face with the man who was subjugating it. His army was broken in pieces, and perhaps an invasion of his own empire was at hand. Should he make terms with this man whose career had so revolted him?—or should he defy him and accept the risk of an invasion, which, by offering freedom to the serfs and independence to the Poles, might give the invader the immediate support of millions of his own subjects? Then added to the conflict with his old self, there was ...
— A Short History of Russia • Mary Platt Parmele

... he defy me to my face? Hold there, monster! Prepare to die, for your time is come. [Stringing his bow.] Vetravati, lead ...
— Hindu Literature • Epiphanius Wilson

... the pavement delights me. And see, too, that his hands are undistinguishable from feet: they are just as long and satiny. He is fond of smoothing his face with them; he brings them both up to his ears and works them forward like slow fans. Transformation indeed. I defy you to recognise him for the same man—except for a faint reminiscence ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... furniture but I have heard her at her return home make sport and jeer at whatever she had before commended; and I have been told by other gentlemen in livery that it is the same in their families: but I defy the wisest man in the world to turn a true good action into ridicule. I defy him to do it. He who should endeavour it would be laughed at himself, instead of making others laugh. Nobody scarce doth any good, yet they all agree in praising those who ...
— Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 • Henry Fielding

... follows to either host or guest. As to the moral involved, a silent example may be quite as influential as an aggressive exhibition of one's principles. Questions of manners and morals are constantly elbowing one another, and it is a nice point to decide when and how far duty requires one to defy conventionality. It is safe to say that only in extreme cases is this ever necessary, or even permissible. The hostess who simply does not offer wine to any guest under any circumstances, is using her influence effectively and courteously, especially when she supplies the deficiency ...
— Etiquette • Agnes H. Morton

... lost his color and self-possession for a moment; he saw Hazel had been listening. Hazel followed up his blow. "Promise me now, by all you hold sacred, to forego this villainy; and I hold my tongue. Attempt to defy me, or to throw dust in my eyes, and I go instantly among the crew, and denounce both you ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... the peculiar character of the rock, which seems to defy the strongest explosive we can get. Now I understand you used a powder in ...
— Tom Swift and his Big Tunnel - or, The Hidden City of the Andes • Victor Appleton

... Jenks caused him to turn slightly. He was curiously aware of a beautiful girl who sat beside him. She had a mass of golden hair which seemed to defy control. It was wild, positively tempestuous. Her eyes were deep blue and her skin as white as fleecy clouds in spring. He was dimly conscious that those glorious eyes ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science February 1930 • Various

... truly observed, we were both conventional; conventionality was part of the price we had willingly paid for membership in that rarer world we had both achieved. It was a world, to be sure, in which we were rapidly learning to take the law into our own hands without seeming to defy it, in order that the fear of it might remain in those less fortunately placed and endowed: we had begun with the appropriation of the material property of our fellow-citizens, which we took legally; from this point it was, of ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... carvings on it as fresh as a new pin—St. Peter with his great key, and the rich man with his money-bag trying to defy the fiery furnace." ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... with the secrets of Nature,—and though the fact we have stated be a startling one, the statements and authorities which go to support it will, perhaps, in the end, surprise us still more. We shall give them, at any rate, in such a form as "to challenge investigation and to defy scrutiny." How far they will bear out our sensational opening paragraph, then, the readers of the "Atlantic" cannot choose ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 79, May, 1864 • Various

... contrary, which he seemed unable to remember, wandered off thither very often. All the other little boys in the neighbourhood went there whenever they liked, and he could not understand why he should not do so too. He did not really mean to defy his parents. He was too young for that, being only six years old. But the force of the example of his playmates seemed stronger than the known wishes of his parents, and so he disobeyed them ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... the scheme which the Southerners seem to have winked at: that which exempted the wool-growers of the Middle States and the West from the reductions. The author of the American System now hotly urged the men who a year ago would defy the "South, the Democratic party, and the Devil" to undo all their work. On March 1, three days before the close of the session, both the President's "Force Bill" and ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd

... might be supposed to feel, on escaping from a den of hungry lions. But, in a moment like that, sensations are too intense and too rapid for words. Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be described, but joy and gladness, like the rainbow of promise, defy ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... tender to their customers?-No doubt of it, and that for the purposes which are explained by the gentlemen whose evidence I agree with. I condemn the system altogether, apart from the men who carry it on. I don't care who the men are; I defy men to be any better than what I find around me, but the system would make them what they are on ...
— Second Shetland Truck System Report • William Guthrie

... could afford to defy royalty, for he was to be himself a monarch of all he surveyed, and a good deal more; but before we follow him to Bath, let us give the devil his due—which, by the way, he generally gets—and tell a pair of tales in ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... 22,000 men, in and around the town of Scylla. His own head-quarters were upon the summit of a hill, in a magnificent tent, containing one large saloon and six small chambers. "The tricolor banners, streaming on its summit, seemed to defy the English batteries on the opposite shore, which discharged bombs and shot that not only could reach the king's tent, but even fell beyond it. One day, three balls descended into the tent, where I was dining with the other officers of the king's household, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... wanting vent, the nation's health infects, Shall burst its bag; and, fighting out their way, The various venoms on each other prey. The presbyter, puff'd up with spiritual pride, Shall on the necks of the lewd nobles ride: His brethren damn, the civil power defy; 300 And parcel out republic prelacy. But short shall be his reign: his rigid yoke And tyrant power will puny sects provoke; And frogs and toads, and all the tadpole train, Will croak to heaven for help, from this devouring crane. The cut-throat sword ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol I - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden

... of the advancing army, which penetrated to his capital. Dhuspas was soon captured, but Sharduris took refuge in his rocky citadel which he and his predecessors had laboured to render impregnable. There he was able to defy the might of Assyria, for the fortress could be approached on the western side alone by a narrow path between high walls and towers, so that only a small force could find room to operate against the ...
— Myths of Babylonia and Assyria • Donald A. Mackenzie

... days in prayer, Love and all her laws defy, In a nunnery will I shroud me, Far from any company: But ere my prayers have an end, be sure of this, To pray for thee and for thy love I ...
— The Children's Garland from the Best Poets • Various

... Farrington, rising to his feet. "It's my private property, an' I defy anyone to touch ...
— The Fourth Watch • H. A. Cody

... the room, straight and level with the glance from between her half-closed eyelids. A fine sensuous appreciation of the indolence it was possible to enjoy in the East clung about her. "To live on a plane that lifts you up like that—so that you can defy all criticism and all convention, and go about the streets like a mark of exclamation at the selfishness of the world—there must be something very consummate in it or you couldn't go on. At least ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... both great and small, And slay you at my leisure. Come, haste, away, make no delay, For I'll give you something you won't like, And, like a true-born Englishman, I will fight you on my stumps. And, now, the world I do defy, To injure me before I die. So, now, prepare for war, for ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... who had been looking to the eastward. "I see a sail coming up from Portland. She's more likely to be a friend than an enemy, and if we can get on board her we may defy our pursuers." ...
— The Boy who sailed with Blake • W.H.G. Kingston

... I am the bearer of something like a defiance; the people wish you to know that they hold your right cheaply, and that they laugh at it. Not to mince matters, they defy you." ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... it is one o'clock in the morning, no one in your household knows where to find you, and yet you will prevent! You stand in a house where your body might remain undiscovered for years; but still you defy, you threaten! By Heaven, my ...
— A Bachelor's Dream • Mrs. Hungerford

... others, made especially to my order, in which the originals are so carefully imitated that I defy the eye ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... naked sky, but against a cold gray range, whose peaks and turrets are seamed and sprinkled with glistening snow. Aye, there they stand, the monarchs of the Rockies; there through the short summer sunshine their lofty crests defy the melting rays and bear their plumage through the very dog-days, to greet and welcome the first, faint, timid snow-flakes of the early fall. There they gleam and glisten, no longer as we saw them from the Kansas plains, dim in the western distance, unapproachable, but close ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... worship that he not only has committed this iniquity afore, but hath pawed the puddle he made, and relapsed into it after due caution and reproof. God forbid that what he spake against me, out of the gall of his proud stomach, should move me. I defy him, a low, ignorant wretch, a rogue and vagabond, a thief and cut-throat, a — {66a} monger ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... believed that the Goths would ere long impatiently abandon their protracted blockade, to stretch their ravages over the rich and unprotected fields of Southern Italy. But the same blind confidence in the lost terrors of the Roman name, the same fierce and reckless determination to defy the Goths to the very last, sustained the sinking courage and suppressed the despondent emotions of the great mass of the suffering people, from the beggar who prowled for garbage, to the patrician who sighed over his new and unwelcome nourishment ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... McBride is a splendid little man and game to the core; but no good, game little man will ever stay on a deck if a good, game big man takes a notion to throw him overboard, and the man Peasley is both big and game, otherwise he would not defy us. Why, Skinner, that fellow wouldn't pause at anything. Hasn't he spent over a hundred dollars arguing with us by cable? Why, he's a desperate character! Also, he would not threaten to throw his successor overboard if he didn't know that he was fully capable of so doing. Paste ...
— Cappy Ricks • Peter B. Kyne

... strength to defy the priest she sat down, and the lecturer continued for a little while longer. The priest could see that the lecturer had said nearly all she had to say, and he had begun to wonder how the evening's amusement was to be prolonged. It would not do to let the people go home until Michael ...
— The Untilled Field • George Moore

... love affair which will be a blow to my family, the Stuarts. Ah! I breathe again. I have discovered a secret. I am clear of royalty. To be free from its trammels is indeed deliverance. To break down, defy, make and destroy at will, that is true ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... her husband, by the song of war, Meroe repeated with him, seeming to defy Caesar, whose tent ...
— The Brass Bell - or, The Chariot of Death • Eugene Sue

... the honour which God hath given you, and whatever good he hath done to you, is lost if it should be so. And, Sir, whoever hath given you this counsel is not a true man, neither one who regardeth your honour nor your power. But send to defy them since they will have it so, and let us carry the war home to them. You shall take with you five thousand knights, all of whom are hidalgos, and the Moorish Kings who are your vassals will give ...
— Chronicle Of The Cid • Various

... he has spent a large fortune in litigation. He fights for the mere pleasure of fighting and is equally ready to take up either side of a question, so that it is no wonder that he has found it a costly amusement. Sometimes he will shut up a right of way and defy the parish to make him open it. At others he will with his own hands tear down some other man's gate and declare that a path has existed there from time immemorial, defying the owner to prosecute him for trespass. He is learned in old manorial and communal rights, and he applies his knowledge ...
— Hound of the Baskervilles • Authur Conan Doyle

... has telephoned. The other pair have disappointed us. Will I defy conventions and ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... never lacks politeness, drunk or sober: that strong intellect of his seems to defy the power of wine, as his heart is proof against moral feeling. You did not prolong your stay in Beaumanoir, I fancy?" remarked the Governor, dinting the point of his cane into ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... Now, I defy the most ingenious advocates of perpetual slavery to produce stronger arguments in its favor than are given in the foregoing extracts. What better plea could they make? what higher justification could they need? Nay, these apologies ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... i. 365), says: "Altogether I have long since arrived at the conclusion that there are more 'devils' in a printing office than are dreamt of in our philosophy— the blunder fiends to wit—ever busy in peppering the 'formes' with errors which defy the minutest revisions of reader, author, sub-editor, and editor.'' Mr. Sala gives an instance which occurred to himself. He wrote that Dr. Livingstone wore a cap with a tarnished gold lace band; but the printer altered the ...
— Literary Blunders • Henry B. Wheatley

... and evidently prepared to defy him. He stood for some moments silent before them, regarding them with an indescribable look of wrath, contempt, and sorrow. He looked upon the pale breathless Sara, and covered his eyes with his hand; the next moment, however, he seemed to collect himself, ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... and art, are at thy disposal, and with whose waters thou canst slake the thirst of thine intellect. Endowed with a youthfulness and a vigor of form that will yield not to the weight of years—that will defy the pressure of time—and that no malady can impair,—possessed of wealth having no limit,—and enriched with a mind so stored with knowledge that the greatest sage is as a child in comparison with thee,—how darest thou complain or repent of the compact which has given to thee all these, though ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... firmly grounded. Directed by Torquemada, it began to encroach upon the crown, to insult the episcopacy, to defy the Papacy, to grind the Commons, and to outrage by its insolence the aristocracy. Ferdinand's avarice had overreached itself by creating an ecclesiastical power dangerous to the best interests of the realm, but which fascinated a fanatically-pious ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... in his booklet Hyperaspistes, in which he endeavors to defend his book On Free Will, against which I wrote my book On the Enslaved Will, which as yet he has not refuted, and will never in eternity be able to refute. This I know for certain, and I defy and challenge the devil together with all his minions to refute it. For I am certain that it is the immutable truth of God." (St. L. 20, 1081.) Despite numerous endeavors, down to the present day, not a shred of convincing evidence has been produced ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... play Othello unless his whole body was blackened. Nor is the extravagance of the methods, which the militant lady follows to put over her program, so foreign to her nature as it may seem. The suffragette adapts to her needs a form of feminine coquetry as old as the world. To defy and denounce the male has always been one of woman's ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... Douglas stood, And with stern eye the pageant viewed - I mean that Douglas, sixth of yore, Who coronet of Angus bore, And, when his blood and heart were high, Did the third James in camp defy, And all his minions led to die On Lauder's dreary flat: Princes and favourites long grew tame, And trembled at the homely name Of Archibald Bell-the-Cat; The same who left the dusky vale Of Hermitage in Liddisdale, Its dungeons and its towers, Where Bothwell's turrets ...
— Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field • Walter Scott

... And not content with perpetrating these enormous atrocities, you have degraded yourself in the eyes of all Rome to the level of the lowest mountebank and buffoon, so as to make yourself the object of contempt as well as abhorrence. I hate and defy you." ...
— Nero - Makers of History Series • Jacob Abbott

... ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, — that of duelling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. To trace the history of the ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... subject, certain conclusions began to form in my mind. The four identical sentences seemed to hint that 'Deep Breathing' had Boche affiliations. Here was a chance of communicating with the enemy which would defy the argus-eyed gentlemen who examine the mails. What was to hinder Mr A at one end writing an advertisement with a good cipher in it, and the paper containing it getting into Germany by Holland in three days? Herr B at ...
— Mr. Standfast • John Buchan

... more than the finest loose sacks the ladies use to be put in; and then you are as well jewell'd as any of them; your ruff and linen about you is much more pure than theirs; and for your beauty, I can tell you, there's many of them would defy the painter, if they could change with you. Marry, the worst is, you must look to be envied, and endure a ...
— The Poetaster - Or, His Arraignment • Ben Jonson

... enterprise. I had effectually mystified my servant and the people of the Dragon Volant, and so dark was the night, that even had I alarmed the suspicions of all the tenants of the inn, I might safely defy their united curiosity, though posted at every window ...
— The Room in the Dragon Volant • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... have guessed that in that brief instant a criminal act had been arranged. Nor did Tom Connor, as he went chuckling up the street, guess that by his lawless recovery of the widow's property he had given Yetmore the excuse he longed for to defy the law himself. Least of all did any of them—not even Long John—guess that between them they were to come within an ace of snuffing out the lives of two innocent outsiders, namely, Joe Garnier and myself. Yet such was the case. It was only the accidental ...
— The Boys of Crawford's Basin - The Story of a Mountain Ranch in the Early Days of Colorado • Sidford F. Hamp

... fierce and speechless proud, provoke The soldiers all, "War, war," at once to cry, Nor could they tarry till their chieftain spoke, But for the knight was more inflamed hereby, His lap he opened and spread forth his cloak: "To mortal wars," he says, "I you defy;" And this he uttered with fell rage and hate, And seemed of Janus' church to undo ...
— Jerusalem Delivered • Torquato Tasso

... volume to stimulate reflection, and excite to inquiry, and provoke to earnest investigation, perhaps (to this or that reader) on a track hitherto untrodden, and across the virgin soil of untilled fields, fresh woods and pastures new—that we may fairly defy the most hostile spirit, the most mistrustful and least sympathetic, to read it through without being glad of having done so, or, having begun it, or even glanced at almost any one of its 854 pages, to pass it away ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... is a prolific and unavoidable source of crime. When organized society goes too far, the individual units rebel and clash with law; when the units swing too far away from the social organization and defy the power of the state, almost automatically some sort of a new organization becomes the state. Whether this new one discards all old forms and laws and acts without the written law, is of no concern. It at least acts and sets limits to the individual life. If ...
— Crime: Its Cause and Treatment • Clarence Darrow

... It was preposterous that this young upstart foreman on a second-rate ranch like Landson's should deliberately defy him. ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead

... to the ditch and wall, 'this is my magnum opus; at least, this and the church, which is the other side of the house. It took me and twenty natives two years to dig the ditch and build the wall, but I never felt safe till it was done; and now I can defy all the savages in Africa, for the spring that fills the ditch is inside the wall, and bubbles out at the top of the hill winter and summer alike, and I always keep a store of four ...
— Allan Quatermain • by H. Rider Haggard

... tempted to defy all common sense because its dictates were not the same for everybody. But he marched away, back to the cubbyhole in which he had awakened. Angrily, he donned the heat-suit that had not protected him ...
— Sand Doom • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... imagine that you have effected much change in the universe, because your trip-gallant is called the cholera-morbus, and because your pourree is called the cachuca. In fact, the women must always be loved. I defy you to escape from that. These friends are our angels. Yes, love, woman, the kiss forms a circle from which I defy you to escape; and, for my own part, I should be only too happy to re-enter it. Which of you has seen the planet Venus, the coquette of the abyss, the Celimene of the ocean, rise ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... Affluence had come to her—that was the one important and exhilarating fact. Besides, had not the hypocrites really enjoyed her book? A new wave of emotion swept over her—again she felt strong enough to defy the whole world. ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... sufficient to protect these in working the mine, and also to enforce the judgment of the local court in dispossessing the occupants of the houses belonging to the Company. An attempt was made by the strikers to defy this police force and prevent the new Union from working the mine; but when most of the new unionists had been sworn in as special constables, and a number of the militant strikers had been arrested, the others saw that ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... would defy every one, and glory in the fight; but after all it is I that must bear the brunt. No; he shall not know it;—unless it becomes so public that he must ...
— Orley Farm • Anthony Trollope

... in The Daily Chronicle: "In one neighbourhood within the Zeppelin zone there are hundreds of partridges who defy the Defence of the Realm Act. Two or three hours before anyone else is aware that the baby-killers are approaching these bold birds go chuckle, chuckle, chuckle, as if there were an army of the more human sort of poachers about." Personally we have always felt that the section ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, May 10, 1916 • Various

... slain—by the tens of thousands whom your treachery has sent to perish in a foreign grave—by the millions whom the war which you have kindled will lay in the field of slaughter—I cite you to appear before a tribunal, where sits a judge whom none can elude and none can defy. Within a year and a month, I cite you to meet the spirits of your victims before the throne of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... to frighten, it has simply scared into the reception of the idea that the only way to escape civil war is by the election of over a hundred and twenty Republican Representatives to the Fortieth Congress. The courageous, whom it was intended to defy, it has only exasperated into more strenuous efforts against the insolent renegade who had the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... cooking apparatus for the slaves and crew, standing generally amidships on the upper-deck; an extra quantity of farina, rice, water, or other provisions, which cannot be accounted for. The horrors of a full slaver almost defy description. Arrived on the coast and the port reached, if no man-of-war be on the coast, two hours suffice to place 400 human beings on board. On the slaves being received, the largest men are picked out as head-men, and these dividing the slaves into ...
— How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900 • W.H.G. Kingston

... the laws of nature, that men should strive mightily and win, then be awarded the loser's prize. His anger began to return. "I've a mind to defy the Government and only take skeleton crews," he said. "Leave the married ...
— Tulan • Carroll Mather Capps

... soon after supper; and, the lovers being left together, Bellarmine began in the following manner: "Yes, madam; this coat, I assure you, was made at Paris, and I defy the best English taylor even to imitate it. There is not one of them can cut, madam; they can't cut. If you observe how this skirt is turned, and this sleeve: a clumsy English rascal can do nothing like it. Pray, how do you like my ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... militia to 2,000 men, but pointing out the difficulties I shall encounter, and the fear that I shall not be able to effect my object with willing, well-disposed characters. Of one thing, gentlemen, I am convinced, that were it not for the number of Americans in our ranks we might defy all the efforts of the enemy against ...
— The Story of Isaac Brock - Hero, Defender and Saviour of Upper Canada, 1812 • Walter R. Nursey

... of these two centuries has been chiefly on lines which defy the columns of the statistician and elude the ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... some o' yo are disappointed at seeing me here instead of your praacher, but it was oather me or nobody. Naa, if th' travelling praacher had come to-noight, he moight easily ha' praached a much better sermon than I can, but I'll defy him or onybody else to foind a grander text than this; it's a raight un, and it's your own fault if you doan't get some good aat on't: if the Lord had thought you needed it, He would have sent you somebody better than me, for He will supply all ...
— Little Abe - Or, The Bishop of Berry Brow • F. Jewell

... thankful for the wifey and the child, and if there is one individual creature on all this footstool who is more thoroughly and uniformly and, unceasingly happy than I am I defy the world to produce him and prove him. In my opinion he don't exist. I was a mighty rough, coarse, unpromising subject when Livy took charge of me, four years ago, and I may still be to the rest of the world, but not to her. ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... good-deeds monger, to give my bread and butter to the next beggar-lass. I tell you I am the woman who came first out of the womb of Mother-earth. I will yield only that which is snatched from me. What is mine is more mine than another's, because I would suffer, dare, sin, defy a world of men and women in order to keep it, to possess it, to have it all alone ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... reasons which none but the Buttons of this world can appreciate, Paul was forbidden, under pain of ghastly tortures, to go near the Sunday school again, and, lest he should defy authority, he was told off on Sunday afternoons to mind the baby, either in the street or the scullery, according to the weather, while the other little Buttons were not allowed to approach him. The defection of the brilliant scholar having been brought to the ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... that he held inviolate from all other bears. He tolerated other bears—blacks and grizzlies—on the wider and sunnier slopes of his range just so long as they moved on when he approached. They might seek food there, and nap in the sun-pools, and live in quiet and peace if they did not defy his suzerainty. ...
— The Grizzly King • James Oliver Curwood

... the madness of Northern abolitionists, that dire calamity (disruption of the Union) must come, the fighting will not be along Mason and Dixon's line merely. It will be within our own borders, in our own streets, between the two classes of citizens to whom I have referred. Those who defy law, and scout constitutional obligation, will, if we ever reach the arbitrament of arms, find occupation enough at home."—Letter to Jefferson Davis, ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 4 • Various

... vain coquette, A wit in folly, and a fool in wit? Who says, that fool alone is not thy due, And quotes thy treacheries to prove it true? Our force united on thy foes we'll turn, And dare the war with all of woman born: For who can write and speak as thou and I? My periods that deciphering defy, And thy still matchless ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... take the former course and to defy King Lud. Other manufacturers used steam, and why should not he? It was annoying to him in the extreme that his friends and acquaintances, knowing that he had fitted the mill with the new plant, were always asking him why ...
— Through the Fray - A Tale of the Luddite Riots • G. A. Henty

... strongest citadel or fort in a town, when it is taken by an enemy, does then afford the same strength to the foe, as it had done to friends before; so Caesar, after Pompey's aid had made him strong enough to defy his country, ruined and overthrew at last the power which had availed him against the rest. The course of things was as follows. Lucullus, when he returned out of Asia, where he had been treated with insult by Pompey, was received by the senate with great honor, which was yet increased ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... the general, "to get to their families, keep respectable for the rest of the day, and then let them defy the devil with their good behavior, for it is not yet light, and in all my military experience (and I have had more than most men) I never heard of a general being called up at midnight to review troops. Get ye away to them, sir, ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... Harrison, Colonel Boyd, and two judges of the supreme court, Benjamin Parke and Waller Taylor, both of whom were officers in the local militia. It was determined to ascend the river with a respectable force, which would not only defy attack, but impress the tribesmen, if possible, with a due respect for the power and authority of the United States. The Prophet, though not a warrior, was known, as Harrison says, to be, "daring, presumptuous and rash." ...
— The Land of the Miamis • Elmore Barce

... the course of the past year how dull life would be. You knew how I loved a city. I still do. But the last word on earth one could apply to the life here is "dull." Nature takes care of that. I defy you to walk along any street in London and see six porpoises and a whale! That is what I saw this morning. Oh! of course you may counter by telling me that neither can I see an automobile or a fire engine, but I have you, because I can answer that I have seen them already. ...
— Le Petit Nord - or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour • Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

... people of Carthage are by your tyranny, corrupted as they are by your gold, this lawless act of oppression would rouse them to resistance. No, Hanno, it is because I know that my doom is sealed I thus fearlessly defy you ...
— The Young Carthaginian - A Story of The Times of Hannibal • G.A. Henty

... merciful God") in large Koran characters. He made so deep an impression on the paper, that after using the india-rubber the words still appeared legible, the fighi remarking: "They are the words of God, delivered to our prophet: I defy you to erase them." The sultan and all around him gazed at the paper with intense satisfaction, exclaiming that a miracle had been wrought, and Denham was well pleased to take his departure. Even Barca Gana ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... never allow him to turn you out. Why don't you dispute the right with him? Turn him out, and defy him!" ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... Apollo, And Ovid, with his precious shallow. Mopsa is love's best medicine, True water to a lover's wine. Nay, she's the yellow antidote, Both bred and born to cut Love's throat: Be but my second, and stand by, Mopsa, and I'll them both defy; And all else of those gallant races, Who wear infection in their faces; For thy face (that Medusa's shield!) Will bring me ...
— A Defence of Poesie and Poems • Philip Sidney

... their bastardy in triumph To the third spurious generation;—when Thy sons are in the lowest scale of being, Slaves turned o'er to the vanquished by the victors, Despised by cowards for greater cowardice, And scorned even by the vicious for such vices As in the monstrous grasp of their conception Defy all codes to image or to name them; Then, when of Cyprus, now thy subject kingdom, 80 All thine inheritance shall be her shame Entailed on thy less virtuous daughters, grown A wider proverb for worse prostitution;— When all the ills of conquered ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... question with which some modern Sphinx may defy some coming OEdipus. Let us hope it will prove a question so adequately answered that the evil goddess using it as a challenge—the conventional deity of injustice, duplicity, and extortion—will dramatize her compulsory response to it by casting ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... other from the violent measures taken to eliminate that poisonous element from her system,—on that night when the precious life yet trembled in the balance, Ann Woolper had seen murderous looks in the face of the man whom she dared boldly to defy, and who knew in that hour that his ghastly plot was discovered. Even now, secure in a haven of safety, she could not forget that baneful look in Philip Sheldon's eyes. She could not find perfect rest while she knew not where that man might be, or what mischief ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... of that defiance; it has the right ring. A man hasn't often the pleasure of hearing that from a woman he can respect. It's easy, of course, to defy the laws of a world one doesn't belong to; but you, who are a queen in your circle, and may throne, at any moment, in a wider sphere—it means much when you refuse to bow down before the vulgar idols, to ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... branding-iron. Most men accepted the custom of branding cattle and horses as a matter of course. There was, in fact, nothing to do save accept it, for there was no other method of indicating the ownership of animals which could be reasonably relied on to defy the ingenuity of the thieves. Attempts to create opinion against it were regarded as sentimental and pernicious ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... the astonishment of all. "We spent our youth together. I see him in my mind's eye, Sire, throw down the gauntlet in Nell's name and defy the world for her. Fill the cups. We'll drink to my new-found hero! Fill! Fill! To Beau Adair, as you love me, gallants! Long ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... been added to our knowledge of this most complicated structure. But figures drawn from images seen in the field of the microscope have too often been known to borrow a good deal from the imagination of the beholder. Some objects are so complex that they defy the most cunning hand to render them with all their features. When the enlarged image is suffered to delineate itself, as in Dr. Dean's views of the medulla oblongata, there is no room to question the exactness of the portraiture, and the distant student is able to form his own opinion ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... has one else in the dead of summer? In return, tell me as much as you please about yourself, which you know is always a most welcome subject to me. One may preserve one's spirits with one's juniors, but I defy any body to care but about their contemporaries. One wants to linger about one's predecessors, but who has the least curiosity about their successors? This is abominable ingratitude: one takes wondrous pains to consign one's own memory to them at the same time that one ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... life, the deepest impression of your kindness will always remain here" (putting his hand on his breast) "fixed and unalterable. I will very readily agree to my successors having more skill and ability for their station than I have; but I defy them all to take more sincere, and more uninterrupted pains for your favor, or to be more truly sensible of it, than is ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... and the substitution of martial for civic law, interrupted his reverie, and a warm debate arose. At last the governor seized his pen impatiently, and cried, "The king is my master and England is my home. Upheld by them, I defy the rabble." ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... effect exactly opposite to that which is desired. It is true, this last difficulty is never of more than a few moments' continuance, else indeed would the condition of the mariner be hopeless; but it is of constant occurrence, and so irregular as to defy calculations and defeat caution. In the present instance, the Montauk would seem to fly through the water, so swift was her progress; and then, as a furious surge overtook her in the chase, she settled heavily ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... Mediterranean, at least taken as a whole. Even there however—in the north and west of Spain, in the valleys of the Ligurian Apennines and the Alps, and in the mountains of Macedonia and Thrace—tribes wholly or partially free continued to defy the lax Roman government. Moreover the continental communication between Spain and Italy as well as between Italy and Macedonia was very superficially provided for, and the countries beyond the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Balkan chain—the great river ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... I returned, "I have in my carriage yonder an interpreter, or rather an interpretress, with whom you will, I hope, be quite satisfied, who speaks German like Goethe, and to whom, when you have once begun to speak to her, I defy you not to ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... which Mrs. Ambrose had made her niece should she stay was a room cut off from the rest of the house, large, private—a room in which she could play, read, think, defy the world, a fortress as well as a sanctuary. Rooms, she knew, became more like worlds than rooms at the age of twenty-four. Her judgment was correct, and when she shut the door Rachel entered an enchanted place, where the ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... be worse off than we are, and that's one comfort,' returned the clerk. 'I defy the devil to make me ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... captain, as his son appeased his hunger, with the keen relish of a traveller. "Even Woods might stand a siege in a house built and stockaded like this. Every window has solid bullet-proof shutters, with fastenings not easily broken; and the logs of the buildings might almost defy round-shot. The gates are all up, one leaf excepted, and that leaf stands nearly in its place, well propped and supported. In the morning it shall be hung like the others. Then the stockade is complete, ...
— Wyandotte • James Fenimore Cooper

... old times of the town's greatness. There was only one man at work—a dry man, grizzled, and far advanced in years, but tall and upright, who, becoming aware of me looking on, straightened his back, pushed up his spectacles against his brown- paper cap, and appeared inclined to defy me. To whom I ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... of grace defend The city where we dwell, While walls, of strong salvation made, Defy ...
— Hymns for Christian Devotion - Especially Adapted to the Universalist Denomination • J.G. Adams

... a manner a protection to a woman. Strangers respect her sorrow and refrain from the jocular. Behind her crepe she may defy intrusion. But it often becomes a ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... for thee, that I was near taking for mine own. Thou shalt be admiral and captain of an expedition that I send with all speed to sweep out with all force the pirates that infest our Norman seas. In great pride they are gathered in Guernsey to defy my power. Take men, take ships, all that thou wilt need, and delay not thy journey, for certain monks and islanders are hard set with famine. See me again to-morrow. Vicomte, ...
— The Fall Of The Grand Sarrasin • William J. Ferrar

... villains!" I screamed at them through the door. "You think you can frighten me because I am only a poor girl left alone in the house. You ragamuffin thieves, I defy you both! Our bolts are strong, our shutters are thick. I am here to keep my father's house safe, and keep it I will against ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... expressive, as is the case with all the animals which fight with their teeth; and we may infer that our early progenitors thus fought, as we still uncover the canine tooth on one side when we sneer at or defy any one, and we uncover all our teeth when ...
— The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals • Charles Darwin

... exclaimed, still thrilling, "it is like old times to hear you try to bully me. It's so long since I've had enough spirit to defy you. But I do now!—oh, yes, I do! Why, I believe that if we had the gloves here, I'd make you fight me or take back what you said about my not having any ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... all of us to defy the doctors and go in for a new lease, as I am glad to hear you are doing. I declare that your open invitation to any friend of mine is the most touching mark of confidence I ever received. I am going to send it to my great ally Michael Foster, Secretary of ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... of the schoolhouse, which was the early New England method of getting rid of an unpopular schoolmaster. None of the boys, however, dared raise a finger against him, and he ruled his little kingdom as an absolute monarch. At last, however, towards the close of the term, some one dared to defy him—and it was not one of the big boys, but ...
— A Busy Year at the Old Squire's • Charles Asbury Stephens

... joining issue with the man, and having it out with him. But there was something in the man's cool assurance, in his steady, compelling eye, in the abrupt authority of his voice, which made the angry animal hesitate to defy him. Certainly the bull could see that the man was very much smaller than he,—a pigmy, indeed, in comparison; but he felt that within that erect and fragile-looking shape there dwelt an unknown force which no four-footed beast could ever hope to withstand. Every evening, after the man ...
— The Watchers of the Trails - A Book of Animal Life • Charles G. D. Roberts

... relief. The proper distribution of light can alone reveal the whole body. For this reason I do not sharply define lineaments; I diffuse about their outline a haze of warm, light half-tints, so that I defy any one to place a finger on the exact spot where the parts join the groundwork of the picture. If seen near by this sort of work has a woolly effect, and is wanting in nicety and precision; but go a few steps off and the parts fall into place; they take their proper form and detach themselves,—the ...
— The Hidden Masterpiece • Honore de Balzac

... way, that every word the teacher spoke to the child, no less than those useless caresses, was "siding along with the scholar ag'in' the parent," and yet he could not definitely have stated just how. He was quite sure that she would not dare so to defy him did she not know that she had the whip-handle in the fact that she did not want her "job" next year, and that the Board could not, except for definite offenses, break their contract with her. It was only in view of these considerations that she played her game of ...
— Tillie: A Mennonite Maid - A Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch • Helen Reimensnyder Martin

... the triumphs of soft peace, I reign; And, from my walls, defy the powers of Spain; With pomp and sports my love I celebrate, While they keep distance, and attend my state.— Parent to her, whose eyes my soul enthral, [To ABEN. Whom I, in hope, already father call, Abenamar, ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) - Almanzor And Almahide, Marriage-a-la-Mode, The Assignation • John Dryden

... up ourselves and defy the world's cork-screws—all save the Thoracic. He allows his associates to see much of what is passing in his mind all the time. Because we are all interested in the real individual and not in masks this type usually ...
— How to Analyze People on Sight - Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types • Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

... soul," said the abbot, full of wrath and alarm. "Thou seekest in vain to terrify me into compliance. Vade retro, Sathanas. I defy thee and ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... heath, with withering brake grown o'er, Lends the light turf that warms the neighbouring poor; From thence a length of burning sand appears, Where the thin harvest waves its withered ears; Rank weeds, that every art and care defy, Reign o'er the land, and rob the blighted rye; There thistles stretch their prickly arms afar, And to the ragged infant threaten war; There poppies nodding, mock the hope of toil; There the blue bugloss paints the sterile soil; Hardy and high, above the slender sheaf, The slimy mallow ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... embarrassing situation as related to this subject we will be wise if we temper our confidence and faith in our national strength and resources with the frank concession that even these will not permit us to defy with impunity the inexorable laws of finance and trade. At the same time, in our efforts to adjust differences of opinion we should be free from intolerance or passion, and our judgments should be unmoved by alluring phrases and ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... the grass where I too longed to lie; And I saw the glorious sweep of moonbeams Gilding the white rocks, circling all the streams With rays of glory; I knelt on the bank, Watching the picture, till my lone heart sank Down to the depths; I could have slept to death, My wounds seemed to defy the balmy breath Of nature to restore my peace; my hands I stretched out o'er the sea to northern lands, I moved so swiftly o'er the moon gilt foam, I stood once more within my father's home, Could almost hear the village bells ring out, Could almost hear the merry children's shout, Could breathe ...
— Victor Roy, A Masonic Poem • Harriet Annie Wilkins

... make the time pass pleasantly, and exactly in accordance with the tales of chivalry which Smith had read, the Turkish Bashaw in the fortress sent out his challenge: "That to delight the ladies, who did long to see some courtlike pastime, the Lord Tubashaw did defy any captaine that had the command of a company, who durst combat with ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... partial supply at home, and driving them from the foreign market. Give us a sound, stable, uniform currency, sufficient but not redundant, and our skilled, educated, and intelligent labor will, in time, defy all competition. But the banks, as now conducted, are the great ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... "Better defy him at once, and get over," Barrington said. "After all, don't you think that the harm he could do ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Emperor, who was daily informed of the progress of the affair, things were manifestly misrepresented. The following facts cannot be questioned: Le Chevalier had found in Paris "an impenetrable retreat where he could boldly defy all the efforts of the police;" Fouche, guessing at the feelings of the fugitive, issued a warrant against Mme. Thiboust. By whom was Le Chevalier informed in his hiding-place of his sister-in-law's arrest? ...
— The House of the Combrays • G. le Notre

... stand against that ugly thing, disease. By all Nature's remedies, hasten to be out of it. Fight it off as long as possible, defy it when you can, and refuse "to hang up your hat on the everlasting peg." Be reinforced in all honorable ways. If not too ill, read the dailies; know the last measure of Congress, the price of gold, and the news by the foreign steamer. Disabuse the world for once of its traditional ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... with no favor. The meeting, accordingly, found immediate relief for its feelings in the usual American way, by passing a series of resolutions. The vigor of these was out of all proportion to the sense. The disposition to defy Cooper shot, in some instances, indeed, beyond its proper mark, and extended even to the rules of grammar. After reciting in a preamble the facts as they understood them, the citizens present went on to express their determination and opinions ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... tender to resist The foe, without a furr to guard his wrist; For who could prime his gun, or pistol hold, Whose aching fingers were benumbed with cold. Prussia, a different scheme in war approves; Whose hardy veterans charge without their gloves. Defy the rigour of the chilling air, And fight, and conquer with their knuckles bare. Bourbon! if wreathes and triumphs are thy aim, Think of some wiser way to purchase fame: Some other arts thy rival to subdue, Soft muffs, without ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... ANA. I do defy The wicked Mammon, so do all the brethren, Thou profane man! I ask thee with what conscience Thou canst advance that idol against us, That have the seal? were not the shillings number'd, That made the pounds; were not the pounds ...
— The Alchemist • Ben Jonson

... taking a particular business risk are seldom such as can adequately be expressed in terms of arithmetic, or even by clear arguments the soundness of which is proportioned to their logical cogency. The mysterious faculty of judgment enters in; and from mental processes which defy analysis there emerge ultimately conviction and the will to act. But it is precisely here that Government Departments are apt to fail. It is here that the individual, who need consult no one but himself, has a pull over any form of organization, where decisions are ...
— Supply and Demand • Hubert D. Henderson

... her children fled, God knows how, God knows where—fled and left a dead husband and father, slain like a hero and an Englishman, fighting for his own, and with his face to the foe. Avenge his death? Nonsense, declared the old women. He had no right to defy the will of Heaven, no right to stir up strife with a friendly people and expect his countrymen to embroil themselves because of his lust for power. It would be a lasting disgrace to the nation if England allowed a lot of ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... 'You take to business like a young duck to the water,' he exclaimed, admiringly. 'That's the way to rake 'em in! You go up and say to them, "Why not investigate? We defy competition. Leave the drudgery of walking uphill beside your cycle! Progress is the order of the day. Use modern methods! This is the age of the telegraph, the telephone, and the typewriter. You kin no longer afford to go on with an antiquated, ante-diluvian, armour-plated wheel. ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen



Words linked to "Defy" :   brave out, brave, brazen, escape, defiant, defiance, beggar, hold out, endure, stand firm, challenge, elude, lend oneself, weather



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