[ ri-zist ]
/ rɪˈzɪst /

verb (used with object)

to withstand, strive against, or oppose: to resist infection; to resist temptation.
to withstand the action or effect of: to resist spoilage.
to refrain or abstain from, especially with difficulty or reluctance: They couldn't resist the chocolates.

verb (used without object)

to make a stand or make efforts in opposition; act in opposition; offer resistance.


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

Origin of resist

1325–75; Middle English resisten (v.) < Latin resistere to remain standing, equivalent to re- re- + sistere to cause to stand, akin to stāre to stand

Related forms

Can be confused

resister resistor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for resist

British Dictionary definitions for resist


/ (rɪˈzɪst) /


to stand firm (against); not yield (to); fight (against)
(tr) to withstand the deleterious action of; be proof againstto resist corrosion
(tr) to oppose; refuse to accept or comply withto resist arrest; to resist the introduction of new technology
(tr) to refrain from, esp in spite of temptation (esp in the phrases cannot or could not resist (something))


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

Derived Forms

resister, nounresistible, adjectiveresistibility, nounresistibly, adverb

Word Origin for resist

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