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

Many are strategically located at the highest points in their cities and can withstand the worst of the predicted rise in sea levels. Max Cohen, USA TODAY, "'Let's double down.' Climate change could put these colleges underwater. Why they're staying put," 1 July 2019 Here are five things to watch out for: Can Biden withstand an onslaught? Terry Collins, Fortune, "Why Night 2 of the Democratic Debate Will Be Much Different Than Night 1," 27 June 2019 Look for lightweight models with telescopic handles, multidirectional wheels, corner protectors and strong frames that can withstand the rigors of baggage handling. Houston Chronicle, "Head out with the best travel gear, whether on the road or in the air," 27 June 2019 The mobile unit has daylight and thermal capabilities, can withstand winds up to 70 or 75 mph, and can run for seven days straight without refueling. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Homewood police deploy ‘eye in the sky’ to help fight crime," 26 June 2019 It was designed to be weather resistant and can supposedly withstand up to 31-mph winds and up to 90-lbs of snow. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Igloo Will Level Up Your Backyard This Summer," 26 June 2019 Given that the experiences of presidents and prime ministers derive from both structural alliance and individual contingency, can the relationship withstand a president whose very appeal has been eschewing conventions, legacy ties, and alliances? Martin Farr, Quartz, "Donald Trump’s state visit is a sorry sign of the times for the UK," 4 June 2019 Instead, Booksmart highlights the importance of female friendship‚ and what that friendship can withstand—as the audience joins the girls on raucous ride through the eve of their high school graduation. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Booksmart Cast Opens Up About Porn, the Patriarchy, and the Problem of Likability," 25 May 2019 The hotel’s owners claim the building can withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and has six pumping machines if the quarry ever floods. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Shanghai luxury hotel is built inside an abandoned quarry," 5 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for withstand

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for withstand

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

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More Definitions for withstand



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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