Defeat Quotes

Most popular defeat quotes

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
There is no defeat except from within.
Heroes are made in the hour of defeat.


A faint endeavor ends in a sure defeat.
Success is a series of glorious defeats.


Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.
There are defeats more triumphant than victories.

victory & defeat

Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong.


A man able to think isn't defeated—even when he is defeated.


The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own.
Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat.
History to the defeated 
May say Alas but cannot help or pardon.
No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within.


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


If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat.
There is something in defeat which puts new determination into a man of mettle.


There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.

failure success success & failure victory & defeat

It is defeat that turns bone to flint, gristle to muscle, and makes men invincible.


A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat.

winning & losing

"But man is not made for defeat," he said.  "A man can be destroyed but not defeated."
There could be no honor in a sure success but much might be wrested from a sure defeat.
Always have the situation under control, even if losing.  Never betray an inward sense of defeat.
Life is to be lived, not controlled; humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.

adversity life stumble suffering

Defeat doesn't finish a man—quit does.  A man is not finished when he's defeated.  He's finished when he quits.
The injustice of defeat lies in the fact that its most innocent victims are made to look like heartless accomplices.
The fullness of life is in the hazards of life. And, at the worst, there is that in us which can turn defeat into victory.

victory & defeat

Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen.  Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us.


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.
The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become.
Defeats and failures are great developers of character. They have made the giants of our race by giving Titanic muscles, brawny sinews, and far-reaching intellects.


Only a man who knows what it is 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.
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.

sports winning & losing

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.  A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.


I've encountered many defeats.  Without defeats, how do you really know who the hell you are?  If you never had to stand up to something—to get up, to be knocked down, and to get up again—life can walk over you wearing football cleats.
Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose.  Nobody goes undefeated all the time.  If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.

losing winning & losing

What is important is not that you have a defeat but how you react to it. There is always the possibility to transform a defeat into something else, something new, something strong. All the good stories, all the people we remember are the ones who do this, who make victories out of their failures.