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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for withstands
Historical Examples
  • It withstands, however, the frosts of winter better than most other grasses.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • It also withstands the frosts remarkably, being a hardy plant.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • It is very elastic and withstands the climate, when seasoned, as well as Teak.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • But men have a saying, My only delight in being lord is that no one withstands what I say.

  • Now if what he says is good, and no one withstands him, is not that good too?

  • Pitch, it is true, withstands water, but it also invites the flame.

  • Its great virtue is that it withstands a soil largely composed of lime.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • It withstands change and time and many a coercive intimation.

    The Ordeal Charles Egbert Craddock
  • The grape, as a rule, withstands drought very well, several species growing wild on the desert's edge.

  • The bloom is very hardy, and withstands the night frosts of spring better than most other varieties.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
British Dictionary definitions for withstands


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 withstands



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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