re·​sist | \ ri-ˈzist How to pronounce resist (audio) \
resisted; resisting; resists

Definition of resist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to exert force in opposition

transitive verb

1 : to exert oneself so as to counteract or defeat he resisted temptation
2 : to withstand the force or effect of material that resists heat


noun, often attributive

Definition of resist (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a coating) that protects against a chemical, electrical, or physical action

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Choose the Right Synonym for resist


oppose, combat, resist, withstand mean to set oneself against someone or something. oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare. opposed the plan combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something. combat disease resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it. resisting temptation withstand suggests a more passive resistance. trying to withstand peer pressure

Examples of resist in a Sentence

Verb He was charged with resisting arrest. These windows can resist very high winds. The drug will help your body resist infection. She couldn't resist telling us what she'd heard. He was able to resist the urge to tell her his secret. It was hard resisting the temptation to open the box. The offer was hard to resist. I know I shouldn't have any more cake, but I can't resist.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ellis was booked in the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of menacing, unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest and other criminal charges. oregonlive, "Oregon deputies tase woman who threatened child with sledgehammer, authorities say," 11 Feb. 2020 Police arrested the girl on charges of obstructing official business and resisting arrest, then turned her over to her father. cleveland, "Boy finds note offering sex in his hotel room: Solon Police Blotter," 7 Feb. 2020 Roemhild, who has no criminal history, will remain jailed without bail on charges of assaulting an officer, fleeing police, and resisting arrest. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "Opera singer charged in Mar-a-Lago car chase has 'history of mental illness,' attorney says," 3 Feb. 2020 In 2000, he was reportedly arrested on charges of assault and resisting arrest after a fight with a police officer at a hotel in Dallas. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "NHL Hall of Famer Ed Belfour arrested at Bowling Green hotel," 28 Jan. 2020 The offenses include drug possession, fraudulent use of a credit or debit car, burglary, theft of property, resisting arrest and burglary. Carol Robinson |, al, "Man indicted in 2019 beating death of retired lawyer in Hoover home," 27 Jan. 2020 The deputies arrested Del Valle on suspicion of battery of an officer and resisting arrest, but no charges were filed. Bob Egelko,, "Court says man hit with a stun gun may sue deputy who shot him," 23 Jan. 2020 The suspect was transported to a hospital for an evaluation and then to the Milwaukee County Jail, and is potentially facing charges of battery to a law enforcement officer, obstructing and resisting arrest. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "3 sheriff's deputies injured detaining suspect," 20 Jan. 2020 Jordan John Szeliga, 28, is in custody at the Oakland County Jail for reckless driving, resisting arrest, assault, obstruction, and multiple other charges, according to public records. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "Lake Orion man arrested after taking Tesla on 130-mph test-drive on I-75," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In song after song, the singer and her agile rhythm section and backing vocalists demonstrated how #resist was in the Staples family vocabulary long before anyone knew what a hashtag was. Jessi Roti,, "Pitchfork Music Fest 2019: 14 things we loved from a sweaty day 1," 19 July 2019 For more info: ART: Japanese tie dyeing The art of applying resist-dyeing techniques to fabrics, also known as tie dying, has been practiced in Japan for hundreds of years. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (August 4)," 1 Aug. 2019 In addition to tarnishing a reputable Trump official, the Democratic resist-at-all-costs strategy chews up precious time on the Senate floor. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Senate Stakes in Sharp Relief," 26 July 2018 David Erickson, 43, of Garden City, was booked into the Ada County Jail on two felony charges of battery against law enforcement, one misdemeanor count of resist and obstruction and a misdemeanor count of trespassing, according to a release. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Two local police officers injured after suspect becomes violent on Greenbelt | Idaho Statesman," 30 Mar. 2018 But the resist-Trump movement -- combined with more Hispanics moving into the region and the retirement of Royce and fellow GOP Rep. Darrell Issa in the nearby 49th district -- resulted in Democratic hopefuls piling into races. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "In wild California primary, Democratic candidate sues over rivals' ballot entries, candidates eased out," 28 Mar. 2018 Head to her three-hour workshop for a history lesson and a hands-on tutorial in shibori (an ancient Japanese method of resist dyeing not unlike tie-dye). Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "West Elm Has Curated Workshops With its Favorite Local Artisans Across the U.S.," 13 Mar. 2018 With the support of UNHCR, RefuSHE also encourages economic empowerment by teaching the young women to make colorful scarves using resist-dyeing, a traditional East African technique similar to tie-dye. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Runway of Hope: Angelina Jolie Opens Up About a Different Kind of Fashion Show," 8 Mar. 2018 The indigo resist-dye style fabric seen on said dress is easily reminiscent of the oceanic textiles in Areté Complete's own designs. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "From French Floral Prints to Blue Shibori, Bring New York Fashion Week Looks Into Your Home," 12 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of resist


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for resist


Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French resister, from Latin resistere, from re- + sistere to take a stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

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Time Traveler for resist

Time Traveler

The first known use of resist was in the 15th century

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Statistics for resist

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for resist


How to pronounce resist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of resist

: to fight against (something) : to try to stop or prevent (something)
: to remain strong against the force or effect of (something) : to not be affected or harmed by (something)
: to prevent yourself from doing something that you want to do


re·​sist | \ ri-ˈzist How to pronounce resist (audio) \
resisted; resisting

Kids Definition of resist

1 : to fight against : oppose Students resisted the war.
2 : to avoid doing or having something I can't resist bragging. Who can resist chocolate?
3 : to withstand the force or effect of These plants resist disease.

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More from Merriam-Webster on resist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for resist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with resist

Spanish Central: Translation of resist

Nglish: Translation of resist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resist for Arabic Speakers

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