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[with-stand, with-] /wɪθˈstænd, wɪð-/
verb (used with object), withstood, withstanding.
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), withstood, withstanding.
to stand in opposition; resist.
before 900; Middle English withstanden, Old English withstandan (see with-, stand); cognate with Old Norse vithstanda; akin to German widerstehen
Related forms
withstander, noun
withstandingness, noun
unwithstanding, adjective
unwithstood, adjective
1. confront, face. See oppose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for withstood
  • They withstood the perspiration and the rough packing with aplomb.
  • She has withstood firestorms that could have consumed forests.
  • But the tide of misfortune came on before the barriers which should have withstood it were prepared.
  • The structures withstood the initial impact of the two jetliners that crashed into them after being hijacked.
  • For thousands of years they have withstood natural losses to their populations.
  • He eventually recovered from the nasty woulds and even withstood a couple of bouts of flu to eventually complete his quarantine.
  • They preformed perfectly on a hike last weekend with good support for my feet and withstood the mud and rain.
  • The vestibule was surprisingly large, and the tent withstood wind with no problem.
  • It seems the reactors withstood the earthquake, as designed.
  • And when enemies attacked, garrisons often withstood epic sieges.
British Dictionary definitions for withstood


verb -stands, -standing, -stood
(transitive) to stand up to forcefully; resist
(intransitive) to remain firm in endurance or opposition
Derived Forms
withstander, 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
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Word Origin and History for withstood



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
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