[ ri-zist ]
See synonyms for: resistresistedresistingresists on

verb (used with object)
  1. to withstand, strive against, or oppose: to resist infection; to resist temptation.

  2. to withstand the action or effect of: to resist spoilage.

  1. to refrain or abstain from, especially with difficulty or reluctance: They couldn't resist the chocolates.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make a stand or make efforts in opposition; act in opposition; offer resistance.

  1. a substance that prevents or inhibits some effect from taking place, as a coating on a surface of a metallic printing plate that prevents or inhibits corrosion of the metal by acid.

  2. Textiles. a chemically inert substance used in resist printing.

Origin of resist

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English resisten (verb), from Latin resistere “to remain standing,” equivalent to re- “again, back” + sistere “to cause to stand,” akin to stāre “to stand”; see origin at re-, stand

synonym study For resist

1. See oppose.

Other words for resist

Other words from resist

  • re·sist·er, noun
  • re·sist·ing·ly, adverb
  • in·ter·re·sist, verb
  • non·re·sist·ing, adjective
  • o·ver·re·sist, verb
  • qua·si-re·sist·ed, adjective
  • un·re·sist·ed, adjective
  • un·re·sist·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with resist

Words Nearby resist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use resist in a sentence

  • Your sacrifice shall be the agony of agonies, the death of deaths, and yet you'll find yourself unable to resist.

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • But this paper was a very tough, fibrous substance, and would resist quite a heavy blow as well as keep out the cold.

    Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
  • And after that Grandfather Mole couldn't resist burrowing in the loose earth now and then.

    The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Thy nakedness shall be discovered, and thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and no man shall resist me.

  • Eloquent in speech, warm-hearted and impulsive, he found it difficult to resist a joke, even at the expense of his friend.

British Dictionary definitions for resist


/ (rɪˈzɪst) /

  1. to stand firm (against); not yield (to); fight (against)

  2. (tr) to withstand the deleterious action of; be proof against: to resist corrosion

  1. (tr) to oppose; refuse to accept or comply with: to resist arrest; to resist the introduction of new technology

  2. (tr) to refrain from, esp in spite of temptation (esp in the phrases cannot or could not resist (something))

  1. a substance used to protect something, esp a coating that prevents corrosion

Origin of resist

C14: from Latin resistere to stand still, oppose, from re- + sistere to stand firm

Derived forms of resist

  • resister, noun
  • resistible, adjective
  • resistibility, noun
  • resistibly, adverb

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