re·sis·tance | \ri-ˈzi-stən(t)s \

Definition of resistance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of resisting : opposition

b : a means of resisting

2 : the power or capacity to resist: such as

a : the inherent ability of an organism to resist harmful influences (such as disease, toxic agents, or infection)

b : the capacity of a species or strain of microorganism to survive exposure to a toxic agent (such as a drug) formerly effective against it

3 : an opposing or retarding force

4a : the opposition offered by a body or substance to the passage through it of a steady electric current

b : a source of resistance

5 : a psychological defense mechanism wherein a patient rejects, denies, or otherwise opposes the therapeutic efforts of a psychotherapist

6 often capitalized : an underground organization of a conquered or nearly conquered country engaging in sabotage and secret operations against occupation forces and collaborators



Definition of resistance (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being exercise involving pushing or pulling against a source of resistance (such as a weight) to increase strength resistance training

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Synonyms & Antonyms for resistance

Synonyms: Noun

defiance, opposition

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of resistance in a Sentence


They have shown a stubborn resistance to change. The troops met heavy resistance as they approached the city. The paint shows good weather resistance. Over time the patient could develop a resistance to the drug.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, the Brewers’ offense offered little resistance against Pittsburgh rookie pitcher Nick Kingham, who entered the game with a 3-4 record and 4.26 earned run average in eight outings. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pirates 7, Brewers 3: With four losses in five games on trip, Brewers appear out of steam," 13 July 2018 The grunts and ferocious focus were still there against Görges, who put up more resistance in her first Grand Slam semifinal than Thursday’s score might indicate. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams, Enjoying Every Moment, Is Back in the Wimbledon Final," 12 July 2018 The forthcoming battle in season three is a resistance that comes springing forth from the shadows. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Handmaid's Tale' "Ready to Hit the Next Dimension" in Season 3, Producer Says," 12 July 2018 Umtiti, who was four years old when captain Zinedine Zidane lifted the World Cup in Saint-Denis, outjumped Marouane Fellaini to head Antoine Griezmann's corner past Courtois and break Belgium's resistance. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "France edges Belgium to reach World Cup final," 11 July 2018 Hyperloop allows pod-like vehicles to travel at very high speeds with minimal aerodynamic resistance by operating in a low pressure environment. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Hyperloop or high-speed rail: which will whoosh through Texas first?," 11 July 2018 At first, the plans were met with resistance over the number of apartments. Tim Prudente,, "Developer strikes agreement to scale back Eastport project," 7 July 2018 Litigation funding has been met with resistance from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others who say it flouts attorney ethics laws and increases frivolous litigation. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "The New Hot Law Job: Litigation Finance," 5 July 2018 Synthetics tend to off-gas, the WWYW founder says, but even wool finished with stain resistance can be problematic. Jamie Gold,, "Clearing the indoor air," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resistance.' 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 resistance


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1976, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for resistance

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for resistance

The first known use of resistance was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for resistance



Financial Definition of resistance

What It Is

In technical trading analysis, resistance is an upper limit in a price channel in which a security’s price tends to stay.

How It Works

Price channels can slope up (indicating bullish sentiment) or down (indicating bearish sentiment); they don’t have to simply go “sideways.” The important geometric characteristic is that the resistance lines and support lines (the opposite of the resistance) are parallel, as shown in this price channel for ChevronTexaco (CVX). The channel lines themselves are often based on multiday moving averages or logarithmic scales that reflect price movements in percentage terms. However, technical trading is as much an art as it is a science, and so one technical trader’s price channel might be different from another’s.

When a stock’s price touches the resistance, this may signal a trend change, which is why resistance levels are very important to technical traders.

Why It Matters

Price channels help tip traders off about trend changes in a stock or “unusual” activity when the price goes above or below the price channel lines (we call this a breakout). For example, a technical trader might sell when a stock hits resistance on a downward-sloping channel.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of resistance

: refusal to accept something new or different

: effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something

: the ability to prevent something from having an effect


re·sis·tance | \ri-ˈzi-stəns \

Kids Definition of resistance

1 : an act or instance of opposing

2 : the ability to withstand the force or effect of resistance to disease

3 : an opposing or slowing force The car's sleek design reduces wind resistance.

4 : the opposition offered by a substance to the passage through it of an electric current

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re·sis·tance | \ri-ˈzis-tən(t)s \

Medical Definition of resistance 

1a : power or capacity to resist especially : the inherent ability of an organism to resist harmful influences (as disease, toxic agents, or infection)

b : the capacity of a species or strain of microorganism to survive exposure to a toxic agent (as a drug) formerly effective against it due to genetic mutation and selection for and accumulation of genes conferring protection from the agent especially as a result of overuse of the agent which selectively destroys individual microorganisms lacking the protective genes

2a : the opposition offered by a body to the passage through it of a steady electric current

b : opposition or impediment to the flow of a fluid (as blood or respiratory gases) through one or more passages — see vascular resistance

3 : a psychological defense mechanism wherein a psychoanalysis patient rejects, denies, or otherwise opposes therapeutic efforts by the analyst

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Comments on resistance

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lying above or upon

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