[with-stand, with-]
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verb (used with object), with·stood, with·stand·ing.
  1. 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), with·stood, with·stand·ing.
  1. 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 formswith·stand·er, nounwith·stand·ing·ness, nounun·with·stand·ing, adjectiveun·with·stood, adjective

Synonyms for withstand

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1. confront, face. See oppose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for withstanding


verb -stands, -standing or -stood
  1. (tr) to stand up to forcefully; resist
  2. (intr) to remain firm in endurance or opposition
Derived Formswithstander, 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

Word Origin and History for withstanding



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