with·​stand | \ with-ˈstand How to pronounce withstand (audio) , wit͟h- \
withstood\ with-​ˈstu̇d How to pronounce withstood (audio) , wit͟h-​ \; withstanding

Definition of withstand

transitive verb

1a : to stand up against : oppose with firm determination especially : to resist successfully
b : to be proof against : resist the effect of withstand the impact of a landingCurrent Biography
2 archaic : to stop or obstruct the course of

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Choose the Right Synonym for withstand

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 withstand in a Sentence

cookware that can withstand high temperatures I couldn't withstand the rigors of army life. They withstood attacks from many critics.
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Recent Examples on the Web Spellman figured the machines would withstand the Arizona environment. Ebony Day, The Arizona Republic, "Tempe Girl Scout's project creates place to honorably retire American flags," 4 July 2020 Parsons believes his team can withstand the loss of the U.S. women’s national team star because of the time the club has spent together over the last month and the relationships on the field that have been built as a result. oregonlive, "With dinnertime singing and 1,000-piece puzzles, the Portland Thorns are settling into the bubble before facing the Chicago Red Stars," 1 July 2020 The construction was part of a project to make the Golden Gate more aerodynamic and able to withstand winds of up to up to 100 mph, as opposed to 68 mph with the old, thicker rails. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Golden Gate Bridge’s new hum louder than expected, officials explore options to fix handrails," 1 July 2020 No matter how brave the protesters may be, a state often has a lot more capacity to inflict costs than ordinary protesters have to withstand them. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Do Protests Even Work?," 24 June 2020 The edges are reinforced to withstand frequent use without fraying, and the cotton fabric is a medium-density 630 GSM (grams per square meter). Popular Science, "Best beach towels for the whole family," 23 June 2020 Growing Quicken's cash cushion to withstand any future shock or crisis. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Quicken Loans IPO: Why it may need the cash and who gets rich," 20 June 2020 The company is seeking an unspecified amount of relief under the Cares Act, which Congress enacted in March to help companies withstand the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Trucker YRC Seeks to Defer Millions in Benefits Payments," 18 June 2020 The only basic difference between owners and players and business owners and employees out in the real world is the former groups' ability to withstand COVID-19’s blow. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Who wants to shame a billionaire? MLB's owners won't act unless their hands are forced," 15 June 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for withstand

Middle English, from Old English withstandan, from with against + standan to stand

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Time Traveler for withstand

Time Traveler

The first known use of withstand was before the 12th century

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Statistics for withstand

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Withstand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/withstand. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for withstand


How to pronounce withstand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of withstand

: to not be harmed or affected by (something)
: to deal with (something, such as an attack or criticism) successfully


with·​stand | \ with-ˈstand How to pronounce withstand (audio) , wit͟h- \
withstood\ -​ˈstu̇d \; withstanding

Kids Definition of withstand

1 : to hold out against This house is able to withstand the worst weather.
2 : to oppose (as an attack) successfully

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