with·​stand | \with-ˈstand, wit͟h-\
withstood\with-​ˈstu̇d, 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

In response, some money managers are trying to build portfolios that can withstand more economic turbulence. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Investors Change Tack as Rates Rise," 17 Oct. 2018 Maybe her 79-year-old aunt sought shelter at the sturdy condo nearby that withstood Hurricane Michael’s devastating winds. Kelli Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage," 15 Oct. 2018 The siamangs, which normally swing from branch to branch in their leafy compound, are being ushered to an underground enclosure that withstands strong winds and flooding. Terace Garnier, Fox News, "As Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coastline, zoos prepare for the worst," 13 Sep. 2018 And while summer is coming to an end, there were still plenty of outfits this week that could withstand the hottest of days. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Tracee Ellis Ross Takes on a Bold Color, Dua Lipa Goes Full Glam for Her Birthday, and More," 25 Aug. 2018 As a result, his bag’s contents, and the bag itself, reflect a simplistic paring down with essentials that can withstand a little knocking around. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "What’s In Your Bag, NGHTMRE?," 10 Aug. 2018 The Royole can supposedly withstand 200,000 folds without damage, but even that's with a design that doesn't fold fully closed. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Samsung teases mythical smartphone with foldable display," 5 Nov. 2018 Three years later, all were still working, proving the electronics could withstand the harsh space environment. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "The Tiny Satellites That Might Fly to Another Solar System," 18 Oct. 2018 Other parts of The Press editorial have better withstood the march of history. Nick Perry, Fox News, "New Zealand celebrates 125 years of women having the vote," 19 Sep. 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

28 Nov 2018

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, 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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Comments on withstand

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


to enclose within walls

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