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[with-stand, with-] /wɪθˈstænd, wɪð-/
verb (used with object), withstood, withstanding.
to stand or hold out against; resist or oppose, especially successfully:
to withstand rust; to withstand the invaders; to withstand temptation.
verb (used without object), withstood, withstanding.
to stand in opposition; resist.
Origin of withstand
before 900; Middle English withstanden, Old English withstandan (see with-, stand); cognate with Old Norse vithstanda; akin to German widerstehen
Related forms
withstander, noun
withstandingness, noun
unwithstanding, adjective
unwithstood, adjective
1. confront, face. See oppose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for withstand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not even the most rage-intoxicated Malay could withstand the shock.

  • With this hammer in his hand none can withstand Thor, our Champion.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • Darl braced himself to withstand the swooping pounce that seemed imminent, the slash of the sharp beak.

    The Great Dome on Mercury Arthur Leo Zagat
  • His eyes were so eager that the old man could not withstand them.

    Historic Boyhoods Rupert Sargent Holland
  • Somehow few could withstand the power of Plymouth Church singing, and Mr. Beecher's prayers had a wonderfully moving influence.

    Sixty years with Plymouth Church Stephen M. Griswold
British Dictionary definitions for withstand


verb -stands, -standing, -stood
(transitive) to stand up to forcefully; resist
(intransitive) to remain firm in endurance or opposition
Derived Forms
withstander, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for withstand

Old English wiðstandan, from wið "against" (see with) + standan "to stand" (see stand (v.)); perhaps a loan-translation of Latin resistere "to resist" (see resist). Cf. Old Norse viðstanda, Old Frisian withstonda, Old High German widarstan. In 14c. and early 15c., withsit was in use with the same meaning. Related: Withstood; withstanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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