• synonyms


[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.
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verb (used without object), with·stood, with·stand·ing.
  1. to stand in opposition; resist.
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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


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

Related Words


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.

  • It is very elastic and withstands the climate, when seasoned, as well as Teak.

  • 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?

British Dictionary definitions for withstands


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper