To vanquish is to be the complete and total winner, to overpower and overcome, whether in a contest, a race, or a war. It generally suggests a total trouncing, to the point of humiliation — or worse — for the loser.

Sometimes words for the same thing are effective in different ways because they offer different levels of meaning. For example, in a game, you can simply win, or you can vanquish your opponent. The former is enough, but the latter makes that defeat sound so much worse, like a total rout. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, "Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful."

Definitions of vanquish

v come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce
beat, circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach
beat through cleverness and wit
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outpoint, outscore
score more points than one's opponents
walk over
beat easily
remove from a contest or race
mop up, pip, rack up, whip, worst
defeat thoroughly
beat overwhelmingly
get the best, have the best, overcome
overcome, usually through no fault or weakness of the person that is overcome
rout, spread-eagle, spreadeagle
defeat disastrously
get the jump
be there first
cheat, chicane, chouse, jockey, screw, shaft
defeat someone through trickery or deceit
exceed, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surmount, surpass
be or do something to a greater degree
get over, master, overcome, subdue, surmount
get on top of; deal with successfully
best, outdo, outflank, scoop, trump
get the better of
to fight better than; get the better of
overmaster, overpower, overwhelm
overcome by superior force
checkmate, mate
place an opponent's king under an attack from which it cannot escape and thus ending the game
immobilise, immobilize
make defenseless
excel or defeat in a game
bat, clobber, cream, drub, lick, thrash
beat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight
beat, circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach
beat through cleverness and wit
grow faster than
outcry, outshout
shout louder than
roar louder than
sail faster or better than
draw a gun faster, or best someone in a gunfight
sell more than others
be sold more often than other, similar products
surpass in speed
better, break
surpass in excellence
attract more attention and praise than others
have a greater range than (another gun)
be heavier than
be braver than
surpass someone in cruelty or evil
outdo someone in trickery
surpass or beat by a wide margin
throw a steer by seizing the horns and twisting the neck, as in a rodeo
outmaneuver, outmanoeuvre, outsmart
defeat by more skillful maneuvering
steamroll, steamroller
overwhelm by using great force
march longer distances and for a longer time than
last longer than others
Type of:
defeat, get the better of, overcome
win a victory over

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