from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Capable of being annulled or invalidated: a defeasible claim to an estate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Capable of being defeated, terminated, annulled, voided or invalidated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being annulled or made void.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That may be abrogated or annulled.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. capable of being annulled or voided or terminated


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Besides being fallible, it seems that a priori justification is defeasible, that is, all-things-considered a priori justification can be defeated by further evidence.

    A Priori Justification and Knowledge

  • The relations between states and events are computed as strong probabilities, in the process called defeasible reasoning.

    Defaults in Semantics and Pragmatics

  • These constraints are ranked as to their strength and they are defeasible, that is, they can be violated (see Zeevat 2000, 2004).

    Defaults in Semantics and Pragmatics

  • As we refrain from intervention domestically in the interest of encouraging productive trade, we should be guided by a defeasible presumption of non-intervention on the international stage in the interest of preventing this undesirable variety.

    In Defense of My Retroactive Smugness

  • I understand your reluctance to rely on it exclusively you're looking for an airtight argument and the morality argument has limits and problems of its own - being defeasible by a contrary moral imperative, for example, but that's the argument that gets the most traction.

    Why did Obama pick Leon Panetta — a man with no significant experience in intelligence — to head the C.I.A.?

  • So while judgments are proposition-generating acts (Handlungen) (A69/94), beliefs by contrast are merely defeasible rational pro-attitudes to propositions that presuppose acts of judgment.

    Kant's Theory of Judgment

  • Section 1.2, belief for Kant is a defeasible rational pro-attitude arising from and presupposing an act of judgment and its propositional content; and as noted in

    Kant's Theory of Judgment

  • Inasmuch as charity is taken to generate particular attributions of belief, so those attributions are, of course, always defeasible.

    Donald Davidson

  • But it isn't clear what version of non-cognitivism can take advantage of this sort of defeasible connection.

    Boys in White Suits

  • It is, in fact, a distinct relation for which causal dependence is, at best, a defeasible marker.

    My Shasta Daisy


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  • A philosophy professor (non-native English speaker!) used this word at me the other day. He catches me out on vocabulary embarrassingly often.

    June 8, 2013