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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.
Origin of withstand
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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not without difficulty that they had withstood Minnie's earnest protestations, and intrenched themselves.

    The American Baron James De Mille
  • He withstood the pain, and the boiling oil did not harm him.

  • The city had for half a year defied almost the whole kingdom, and withstood the covert attacks of foreign Powers.

    Southern Spain A.F. Calvert
  • I withstood all that, but you don't give up at all and step by step you are overcoming my resolve.

  • Very low, they withstood in remarkable fashion the periodical hurricanes of wind and rain.

    War in the Garden of Eden Kermit Roosevelt
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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