defeat

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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 ?
The Ottoman Culture of Defeat is quite successful in capturing the dynamic atmosphere of the aftermath of the Balkan Wars, which was characterized by a search for consolation, revenge, revival and return to Balkan lands.
WILLIE McFAUL'S 1988-87 HALF-DOZEN DEFEATS Between December 1986 and January 1987, McFaul's Newcastle were dealt six straight First Division defeats.
The defeat of the charter school initiative shows that residents don't want attention diverted from the needs of public schools, say some educators there.
The 2000 Six Nations included a 46-12 thrashing by England and a 36-3 Millennium Stadium defeat against France.
As exciting as it was to defeat Amendment 17, perhaps the best news is that we're not likely to hear from the voucher supporters in this state for a quite a while," Sand observed.
I believe that I was among the first to appreciate this tendency, for I published an article in Dirasat 'Arabiyah, two months after the defeat titled: "Al-'Ilm al-Hadith wa al-Naksah al-Khatirah," (Modern Science and the Dangerous Relapse), which stirred up considerable discussion and became the nucleus of my book: Al-Naqd al-Thati ba'd al-Hazimah (Self-Criticism after the Defeat).
Secretary Phil Reay said: "We haven't done too badly in games with them, although we need to overturn the 2-1 defeat they inflicted on us earlier in the campaign.
Brentwood handed Campbell Hall its only defeat this season, a 10-8 decision Sept.
9 percent defeat of a proposed state constitutional amendment intended to channel substantial public funds away from public schools to sectarian and other private schools through a complicated, Rube Goldbergesque voucherlike tuition taxcredit scheme.
The RPG and tank fired HEAT achievement follows the successful defeats of antitank guided missiles with both "hard kill" and "soft kill" countermeasures.
Under the BCS rules, a school receives extra points if it defeats a team in the final top-10 poll.
The only sure bet is USC goes to the national-title game if it defeats Oregon State on Dec.
In five of those defeats, the team has been shut out.
The squad also avenged two of its early three season defeats to win the Canyons tournament for the third year in a row.
Simi Valley ``A'' defeated WAGS to win the Conejo tournament before suffering four consecutive defeats to WAGS, falling twice in the Hart tournament in Valencia and losing in the North Torrance and Sylmar tournaments.