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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Blue Origin has had several successful tests of its rockets so far, most recently in April, when the company tested whether acrylic windows could withstand entry into space. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Jeff Bezos May Charge $200,000 or More to Fly You to Outer Space," 13 July 2018 Taylor had to thank the crowd for withstanding the heat to come to the concert. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "In Washington, D.C., Taylor Swift Finally Performed "So It Goes"," 11 July 2018 The walkway is going to be 4 feet higher than the old one, to accommodate sea-level rise and help the structure withstand storm surges. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Pompano's new pier construction reaches the halfway mark," 10 July 2018 The drones have operated for up to a year at a time and withstood hurricanes. The Economist, "Avast, me hearties," 5 July 2018 Hyland said a line carrying around 4,000 volts — 4KV in the lingo — can usually withstand trees. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Ever noticed chunks of trees on utility pole wires? What’s up with that?," 2 July 2018 Architects and engineers are devising increasingly effective protections against extreme weather, designing homes that can deflect hurricane winds, rise with flood waters and withstand wildfires. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg’s Week in Pictures," 21 June 2018 In the West today, population density is much lower, farms are fewer and bigger, and water-loving corn gives way to wheat, which better withstands arid conditions. John F. Ross, WSJ, "The Prophet of the Dust Bowl," 14 June 2018 Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on Smith's mistake that sent the game into overtime, withstanding a 51-point performance by James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1 on Thursday night. Janie Mccauley, courant.com, "Warriors Withstand James' 51 Points To Win NBA Finals Game 1," 1 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about withstand

Statistics for withstand

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for withstand

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!