re·sist | \ ri-ˈzist \
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


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

The jury found 29-year-old Jonathan Gapp guilty as party to the crime of first-degree reckless homicide and resisting or obstructing an officer. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jury finds Dousman man guilty of homicide for role in girlfriend's fatal overdose," 13 July 2018 So, listen to the expert and resist the urge to hold for longer than needed. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "6 Common Curling Iron Mistakes Everyone Makes, According to Hairstylists," 12 July 2018 The Justice Department had pressured Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes the cable news operation CNN, or other segments of the business, which both companies resisted. CBS News, "Justice Department appeals judge's approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 Some of the ships are part of a group of vessels Washington had tried to get blacklisted by the U.N., efforts that were resisted in part by Beijing. Ian Talley, WSJ, "U.S. Calls Out China, Russia on North Korea Energy Caps, Urges U.N. Action," 12 July 2018 Once the local Queen Bee, Camille fled Wind Gap and its expectations, resisting the pressure of its old-fashioned gender norms and twisted small-town hierarchy. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Sharp Objects," 11 July 2018 European governments have criticized President Donald Trump's approach but have resisted Chinese efforts to recruit them as allies in their dispute. Joe Mcdonald, USA TODAY, "European exporters shift trade and supply chains to avoid higher US tariffs," 10 July 2018 European governments have criticized President Donald Trump’s approach but have resisted Chinese efforts to recruit them as allies in their dispute. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "European exporters shift trade to avoid higher US tariffs," 10 July 2018 Phoenix Spark redesigned the cup’s handle, replacing the square bottom with one better capable of resisting breakage. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force is 3D Printing Coffee Cup Handles to Save Money," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 But many of the #resist leaders aren’t ready for a victory lap just yet. Philip Elliott / Los Angeles, Time, "Here's What It Was Like to Watch the State of the Union With the Resistance," 31 Jan. 2018 Despite scarce resources and a broken-down infrastructure, learning the craft of resist-dyeing (or tie-dyeing) has helped them work toward economic independence through making their own scarves. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Nest Gathers Industry Leaders at the United Nations to Discuss the New Handworker Economy and the Future of Ethical Fashion," 11 Dec. 2017 But most resist, because random strings are hard to remember. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "If ‘P@$$w0rd1’ Is So Simple to Figure Out, Then What Should You Do?," 18 Aug. 2017

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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Learn More about resist

Statistics for resist

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for resist

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

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More Definitions for resist



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 \
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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Comments on resist

What made you want to look up resist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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