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[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
resister, noun
resistingly, adverb
interresist, verb
nonresisting, adjective
overresist, verb
quasi-resisted, adjective
unresisted, adjective
unresisting, adjective
Can be confused
resister, resistor.
1. confront, counteract, rebuff. See oppose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for resist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I think I cannot resist throwing the contrivances in orchids into his teeth.

  • It is difficult to resist the suggestion that one who is accused of crime is guilty.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • So he began to resist her with the more pleasure that he could at least evade her questions.

  • They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • By degrees the liking increased, and grew sufficiently strong to resist every assault from his enemies.

    Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) Sutherland Menzies
British Dictionary definitions for resist


to stand firm (against); not yield (to); fight (against)
(transitive) to withstand the deleterious action of; be proof against: to resist corrosion
(transitive) to oppose; refuse to accept or comply with: to resist arrest, to resist the introduction of new technology
(transitive) 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, noun
resistible, adjective
resistibility, noun
resistibly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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