defeat

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Related to defeated: undefeated

admit defeat

To yield to the opposition or accept that one is wrong in some pursuit. Well, I ran a good campaign, but it is time I admitted defeat in this election.
See also: admit, defeat

snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

To fail, lose, or be defeated despite the appearance that one would be victorious, especially due to a mistake, error, or poor judgment. (An ironic reversal of the more common "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.") We were ahead by nearly 20 points with less than half the quarter remaining—how on earth did we manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like that? The candidate has led in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark last night, he may well have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

To win, succeed, or be victorious at the last moment, despite the apparent likelihood of failure or defeat. They were down by nearly 20 points with less than half of the last quarter remaining, but through sheer skill and perseverance they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The candidate has been behind in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark by his opponent last night, he may end up snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

the jaws of (something)

Something, especially something unpleasant or undesirable, that very nearly comes to pass. Used especially after "snatch from." The drowning fishermen were snatched from the jaws of death by a passing cruise ship. They were down by nearly 20 points with less than half of the last quarter remaining, but through sheer skill and perseverance they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: jaw, of

go down in defeat

 and go down to defeat
Fig. to submit to defeat; to be defeated. The team went down in defeat again. She fears going down in defeat.
See also: defeat, down

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

Cliché to win at the last moment. At the last moment, the team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-second full-court basket.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

the jaws of ˈdeath, deˈfeat, etc.

(literary) used to describe an unpleasant situation that almost happens: The team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: jaw, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Shaun, who was the singles runner up in 1989, defeated Paul Green from Apple Tree 3-1.
Six years ago, the Czech Bredych defeated Djokovic in the 2010 Wimbledon Championships' semifinals, a victory that enabled him to reach the final to play against Nadal, where he eventually lost.
Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, defeated Libertarian Ken Ashby
In the C division Cardiff Hibs defeated AFC Llanedeyrn 11-0 with goals from Tom Western, Brandon Mills, Callum Watkins, Connar Williams, Pawel Kararski (2), Ashton O'Dare (3) and Connar Edgeworth (2).
10 and under boys singles: Oln/er Jansen (1) defeated Paul Thompson 6-3 6-4.
La Canada 77, Wilson 46: Joy Lelo had 22 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and fourassists as La Canada defeated visiting Wilson of Hacienda Heights (18-9).
James Talent (R), a close ally of the Religious Right, was defeated by State Auditor Claire McKaskill 49 to 47 percent.
David Shreve, senior education committee director for education at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says many measures were defeated because taxpayers and state officials are hesitant to pass more funding mandates.
Liverpool B (Charlotte Ross 2,Chelcee Grimes and Alicia Hardacre) beat Brazil 4-0 and Tranmere defeated Liverpool C 8-0 with Abbie McIver (3), Clare Price (2),Jasmine Dutton and Mel Eavson on target.
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IN the Runcorn Sunday League Harry Tabb Memorial Trophy, first division Wilsons United defeated Premiership outfit Halewood Labour 2-1 with goals from Nelson and Duffy.
Their role was also illustrated through satire and parody, the humourous refuge of a defeated people.
Division Series--New York defeated the Oaklands A's three games to two; Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox three games to none.
Voters in Oregon defeated a ballot proposal that would have prohibited all positive or neutral mention of homosexuality in that state's public schools.
Fortunately, enough legislators agreed, as the measure was defeated 294 to 171.