AskDefine | Define withstand

The Collaborative Dictionary

Withstand \With*stand"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Withstood; p. pr. & vb. n. Withstanding.] [AS. wi[eth]standan. See With, prep., and Stand.] To stand against; to oppose; to resist, either with physical or moral force; as, to withstand an attack of troops; to withstand eloquence or arguments. --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster] I withstood him to the face. --Gal. ii.
[1913 Webster] Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast. The little tyrant of his fields withstood. --Gray. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 resist or confront with resistance; "The politician defied public opinion"; "The new material withstands even the greatest wear and tear"; "The bridge held" [syn: defy, hold, hold up]
2 stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something [syn: resist, hold out, stand firm] [ant: surrender] [also: withstood]

Moby Thesaurus

be at cross-purposes, be proof against, bear, bear up, bear up against, buck, challenge, combat, complain, complain loudly, confront, contend with, contest, counter, counteract, countervail, counterwork, cross, defy, dispute, dissent, duel, endure, face down, face out, face up to, fight, front, go against, hold out, hold up, join the opposition, kick against, make a stand, meet head-on, not abide, object, offer resistance, oppose, play at cross-purposes, protest, rebuff, recalcitrate, reluct, remonstrate, repel, repulse, resist, revolt, run against, run counter to, show fight, stand, stand at bay, stand up, stand up against, stand up to, strive against, suffer, take issue with, tolerate, traverse, vote against



wiðstandan (wið "against" + standan "to stand")



  1. To resist or endure (something) successfully.
  2. To oppose (something) forcefully.


to resist
to oppose
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