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defy (v.)

c. 1300, defien, "to renounce one's allegiance;" mid-14c., "to challenge to fight, dare to meet in combat;" from Old French defier, desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith" (in Medieval Latin diffidare), from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). By 1670s as "dare (someone) to do something (that the challenger believes cannot or will not be done)."

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Definitions of defy from WordNet

defy (v.)
resist or confront with resistance;
The politician defied public opinion
Synonyms: withstand / hold / hold up
defy (v.)
elude, especially in a baffling way;
Synonyms: resist / refuse
defy (v.)
challenge;
Synonyms: dare
From wordnet.princeton.edu