June 26, 2013
defiant (adjective)
\dih-FYE-unt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: full of or showing defiance : impudent, insolent
How do you use it?
Even after being asked three times, little Aidan remained defiant and wouldn't sit in his high chair.
Are you a word wiz?

"Defiant" traces to the Latin root "fidere." What do you think "fidere" means?

Trust us when we say that answer D is correct! The Latin root "fidere" traveled into Anglo-French (the French spoken in medieval England) as "fier," meaning "to entrust," which was used to create "desfier" or "defier," meaning "to renounce faith in, challenge." Speakers of Middle English picked up those words and from them created the verb "defy," originally retaining the same meaning as the Anglo-French words. The noun "defiance" soon came into use to describe the act of something or someone that challenges. Our Buzzword, the adjective form "defiant," developed during the 1500s.
Archive RSS Feed