1918, adjective and noun, in reference to pacifists and political opposition in Britain, from French défaitiste, which was used there in reference to the Russians who sought to end their war with Germany; see defeat (n.) + -ist. Their opposition, in the original Russian context, were called defensists.
1. I don't approve of your defeatist attitude.
2. There is no point going out there with a defeatist attitude.
3. He had been assailed as a coward and a defeatist by his own friends.
4. Some will argue that defining success down is defeatist.
5. How defeatist does the imitation - Gothic interior appear, once this has been realized.