Please imagine the top-managers of a manufacturing company are brainstorming over a new product to make a decision whether they should produce and lunch it to the market or not. A present individual at the meeting who is working as a market analyzer wants to say that it is not a proper time or this is not a reasonable product to be manufactured (at least for the current market.) Otherwise, they will end up experiencing a not desirable outcome.
I wonder which one of the options below work properly within my example:

  • The possibility of ____________ for the new product is very high. I think we'd better take our time for some raw materials decrease in price. Then even if the market demands drop for this specific item or even the inflation decreases or increases, we won't sustain any considerable loss.

a. failure
b. defeat

To me, they are equally the same things in this case and I think they can be used interchangeably. But, for some unknown reason, "a" sounds more natural to me.


1 Answer 1


To be defeated, there must be an adversary. Whereas something can succeed or fail on its merits (or lack of them).

If I try to shoot a basketball through the hoop but miss, alone on the court, that is failure. If I miss because my brother blocked me, that is defeat. He has defeated my attempt.

If you don't have a designated adversary but still want to use (b), you could say figuratively that the company has been defeated by market forces. (I say “figuratively” because the market is not literally an adversary.)

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