Stand up when the powers that be order you to sit down, and you've given a fine example of defiance. It happens when someone or a group of someones openly flouts or challenges authority.

Refusing to go to bed when your parents tell you to? That's an act of defiance. Defiance comes from French — specifically to the Old French word defier, which means "to defy." (Don't mix it up with deify; that means to make someone or something into a god.) If you've ever studied Latin, you'll spot the fi in fidare, "to trust."

Definitions of defiance
  1. noun
    a hostile challenge
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    type of:
    challenge, gauntlet
    a call to engage in a contest or fight
  2. noun
    a defiant act
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    type of:
    group action in opposition to those in power
  3. noun
    intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude
    synonyms: rebelliousness
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    defiance of authority
    noisy defiance
    type of:
    intractability, intractableness
    the trait of being hard to influence or control
Word Family

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