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I've used the phrase "defeated for" in my writing, somewhat like this:

He was defeated for another country to flee to, and so he left for Australia.

which is supposed to mean "He had no choice of another country to flee to".

It seems to make some sense to me, but I appear to be the only person to use this phrase for such a purpose (A Google search returns nothing). Is there another more suitable adjective I can use in its place? I feel like there should be one, but I have no idea how to look for it.

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With no other options available, he fled to Australia. – Jim May 11 '14 at 18:59
Your sentence doesn’t really scan in English, so I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that he was left with no recourse but to flee to Australia? – tchrist May 11 '14 at 21:36
Yes, that's what I mean. I apologize that it doesn't scan, but that's why I asked the question in the first place, to find something that actually fits. – Joe Z. May 11 '14 at 21:40
@tchrist - you should post that as an answer. – dwjohnston May 12 '14 at 4:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In that example I might have said 'For the want of anywhere better, he fled to Australia'. Does that help?

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Yes, I think I was definitely looking for something more along the lines of "for want". – Joe Z. May 11 '14 at 20:29

There are many way to express the concept, I suggest:

His only chance was to flee to Australia

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The sentence you've given is incorrect.

He was defeated for another country to flee to, and so he left for Australia.

It's use in this is not right. If you're trying to say that he had no options left (as in, all his options were defeated), then consider:

His options for going to another country were defeated, and so he left for Australia.

As pointed out by other users, it will be far more direct and effective to just get straight to the point:

Without any other options/choice, he [packed up and] left for Australia.

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"Lacking alternatives, he fled to Australia".

"With no better option(s) open to him, he fled to Australia".

"There was no alternative but to flee to Australia".

"His last resort was to flee to Australia".

"His {only / sole remaining} recourse was to flee to Australia".

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void of options could work.

He was void of alternatives, so he fled the country for Australia.


Void other options, he left for Australia.

You could use other adjectives as well:

impoverished, starved, lacking, desolate, barren


His options were barren, facing no other choice, he left for Australia.

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You could simply say

Having no other country to flee to, he left for Australia.

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