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

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 The Celtics should be able to withstand injuries and absences better as long as Tatum and Jaylen Brown stay healthy. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Oct. 2021 Common threads are that the structures are able to withstand the elements, have rustic details and incorporate materials close at hand. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Only a select few artists were able to withstand the Donda wave. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 7 Sep. 2021 Some evacuees might move out as more information trickles in as to how their houses were able to withstand the powerful storm that whipped through Louisiana on Sunday. al, 30 Aug. 2021 However, the scarecrows submitted must be able to withstand all types of weather. Mike Danahey, chicagotribune.com, 20 Aug. 2021 It’s not a given that these new trees, or the trees already in the ground, will be able to withstand the rising tide of invasive pests. Zoya Teirstein, Wired, 14 Aug. 2021 Even WeWork admitted the future of its model was uncertain, warning investors that many of its clients wouldn’t be able to withstand an economic downturn. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 10 Aug. 2021 For the mirror, the J.W.S.T. required a design that would be able to withstand the cold of space, be relatively lightweight, and be made up of sufficiently small individual pieces. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021

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

Time Traveler for withstand

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near withstand

with (something) to spare



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for withstand

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Withstand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/withstand. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on withstand

Nglish: Translation of withstand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of withstand for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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