See more synonyms for resist 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.
  3. 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

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 formsre·sist·er, nounre·sist·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·re·sist, verbnon·re·sist·ing, adjectiveo·ver·re·sist, verbqua·si-re·sist·ed, adjectiveun·re·sist·ed, adjectiveun·re·sist·ing, adjective
Can be confusedresister resistor

Synonyms for resist

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for resist

Contemporary Examples of resist

Historical Examples of resist

  • She had not life enough left to resist the shock of her father-in-law's blows.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Why resist, and refuse the glory of belonging to the faculty?

  • "I'll do it," I cried, no longer able to resist, for the fever of it was in my blood.

  • They are my strength; they give me the courage to resist you.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • She was so distressed to find that she no longer had strength to resist her pride.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for resist


  1. to stand firm (against); not yield (to); fight (against)
  2. (tr) to withstand the deleterious action of; be proof againstto resist corrosion
  3. (tr) to oppose; refuse to accept or comply withto resist arrest; to resist the introduction of new technology
  4. (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
Derived Formsresister, 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

Word Origin and History for resist

late 14c., from Old French resister "hold out against" (14c.), from Latin resistere "to make a stand against, oppose; to stand back; withstand," from re- "against" (see re-) + sistere "take a stand, stand firm" (see assist). Related: Resisted; resisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper