Defeat Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old defeat quotes, defeat sayings, and defeat proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.     

Napoleon Hill

Defeat should never be a source of discouragement but rather a fresh stimulus.     

Robert South

Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.     

Josephus Daniels

Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.     

Adolf Hitler

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.     

George Edward

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.     

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The art of victory is learned in defeat.     

Simon Bolivar

You've got to learn to survive a defeat. That's when you develop character.     

Richard Nixon

It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.     

Abdul Kalam

Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.     

Anais Nin

Defeat is only a word. Defeat was the beginning of a victory.     

Launa Rissadia

An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory.     

Millard Fillmore

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.     

Maya Angelou

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.     

Joe Clark

It is defeat that lives on and takes the years to smother.     

Ben Robertson

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.     

Ernest Hemingway

You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat.     

Joel Osteen

Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.     

Bruce Lee

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.     

Edwin Markham

Defeat is in your mind. Resilience is in your soul.     

Keri Murphy

If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat.     

Simone De Beauvoir

The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own.     

Bill Bradley

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.     

Michel de Montaigne

It is not defeat that destroys you,it is being demoralized by defeat that destroy you.     

Imran Khan

Defeat doesn't finish a man, quit does. A man is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished when he quits.     

Richard M. Nixon

Nothing but education. Nothing but the first step to something better.     

Wendell Phillips

If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost.     

Zig Ziglar

There is no defeat except for those who give up.     

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.     

Marilyn vos Savant

Failure, loss and defeat are just mile markers on the road to success.     

Jeffrey Fry

Defeat is not worth thinking about.     

Alan Shearer

When defeat is inevitable, it is wisest to yield.     

Quintilian

Defeat brings a lesson, it gives a chance to rebuild, a chance to start again, with the knowledge of what does not work.     

Leon Brown

Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.     

Jean-Paul Sartre

He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.     

Napoleon Bonaparte

Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.     

Roger Crawford

Defeat is a state of mind. You are defeated only when you accept defeat, and assume the hopeless mindset of a defeated person.     

Donald Trump

A good man would prefer to be defeated than to defeat injustice by evil means.     

Sallust

Do not be afraid of defeat. You are never so near victory as when defeated in a good cause.     

Henry Ward Beecher

Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.     

Ralph Ellison

Falling down is not defeat. Defeat is, when you refuse to get up.     

Paulo Coelho

I contend that not only can you laugh at adversity, but it is essential to do so if you are to deal with setbacks without defeat.     

Allen Klein

When we pray we admit defeat.     

Anthony Burgess

History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.     

B. C. Forbes

If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.      

Bill Cosby

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.     

Beverley Nichols

Take a good look at your failure, and then say with gritty determination, You're not going to keep me down! I may be defeated, but I'm not giving up!     

Carl Sommer

Courage is more important than to be deceived by shallow victory waiting for a delayed defeat.     

Dejan Stojanovic

To give up is to invite complete defeat. Giving up contributes to an ultimate defeat of the personality. It tends to develop a defeat psychology.     

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

But man is not made for defeat, he said. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.     

Ernest Hemingway

It’s easy to do anything in victory. It’s in defeat that a man reveals himself.     

Floyd Patterson

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.     

George E. Woodberry

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self defense against a homicidal maniac.     

George Orwell

While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.     

Helen Keller

Hope is the last thing a person does before they are defeated.     

Henry Rollins

A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.     

Jean Paul Sartre

When we allow bad times to linger too long in our minds, they become more than just a feeling of defeat. They become a season of discouragement.     

Jerry Grillo

The more you talk about negative things in your life, the more you call them in. Speak victory not defeat.     

Joel Osteen

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.     

John F. Kennedy

Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.     

John Ruskin

Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.     

John Steinbeck

Learn a word from a win, but learn a whole book from a defeat.     

M.K. Soni

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat for it is momentary.     

Mahatma Gandhi

Every witness will rejoice at the work God did. This is God's goal for you. This is your inheritance: more victory than defeat, more joy than sadness, more hope than despair.     

Max Lucado

While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.     

Maya Angelou

Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.     

Muhammad Ali

When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do.     

Napoleon Hill

Time is a master worker that heals the wounds of temporary defeat, and equalizes the inequalities and rights the wrongs of the world.     

Napoleon Hill

Defeat happens only to those who refuse to try again.     

Nick Vujicic

As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.     

Noam Chomsky

Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.     

Norman Vincent Peale

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.     

Og Mandino

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.      

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beware how you take away hope from any human being.     

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fear makes us look for someone to blame, throw up our hands in defeat, and give in to a victim mentality. Faith chooses to face the challenge with hope in a brighter tomorrow.     

Penny Hunt

We are never defeated unless we give up on God.     

Ronald Reagan

Never stop just because you feel defeated. The journey to the other side is attainable only after great suffering.     

Santosh Kalwar

Learn to celebrate your successes and acknowledge your defeats, but then move on to the next opportunity and challenge.     

Stedman Graham

If you can accept losing, you can’t win.     

Vince Lombardi

To courageously straighten up again after our heads have been bowed by defeat, disappointment and suffering is a supreme test of character.     

Wilferd Peterson

The light, that lies In woman's eyes, Has been my heart's undoing.     

Thomas More