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 Quintarius Cordell, 26, has been charged with theft of property, eluding police officers, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Lily Jackson |, al, "Attempted car theft ends in car, foot chase," 15 Sep. 2019 In some cases, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Erickson said there were no named victims in police reports for charges like disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Shelley Murphy,, "Judge at center of Straight Pride drama viewed as tough jurist with a well-known name," 5 Sep. 2019 This woman was charged with prostitution and resisting arrest., "Five arrested in undercover prostitution operation: Solon Police Blotter," 29 Aug. 2019 In 2011, he was charged with making threats to a D.C. police officer and resisting arrest. Laurel Demkovich, Washington Post, "Man said devil urged him to fatally stab worker on Frederick Douglass Bridge, court document states," 23 Aug. 2019 In 2014, a few months before Blanton's death, he was also charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. Kala Kachmar, USA TODAY, "Judge grants mistrial in case of Indiana man Joseph Oberhansley, accused of cannibalism," 21 Aug. 2019 Two others were booked into Fresno County Jail for allegedly obstructing the doorway of a public business establishment and resisting arrest. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, "Dolores Huerta is arrested once again, this time during protest to help Fresno home care workers," 20 Aug. 2019 He was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of residential burglary, vandalism, brandishing a firearm, criminal threats, public intoxication and resisting arrest. Pete Grieve,, "Off-duty CHP officer arrested after threatening to shoot neighbor in Santa Rosa, police say," 19 Aug. 2019 Daniels was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, second-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny, possession of burglary tools and interfering with an officer and resisting arrest. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "Canton police charge 22-year-old with overnight burglaries, attempted car thefts," 16 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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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Statistics for resist

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for resist

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

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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

Comments on resist

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a calculated move

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