Definition of resist in English:



  • 1 Withstand the action or effect of.

    ‘antibodies help us to resist infection’
    • ‘In addition, enteral feeding may improve the ability of the gut to resist infection, which is extremely important in patients who may already have decreased resistance.’
    • ‘The mixes are also designed for high density and low permeability to help resist the effects of high sulfate and chloride contents in the soil.’
    • ‘Most seafood allergens are stable molecules, which resist the effects of cooking and processing.’
    • ‘One researcher reports that older adults can resist the negative effects of aging by remaining active.’
    • ‘No matter which variation of polio a vaccinated individual comes into contact with, he or she should successfully resist infection.’
    • ‘Some have acquired an armoury of genes which help them attach to cells, invade and damage tissue, colonise hosts, evade the immune system, and resist the effects of antibiotics.’
    • ‘Manufacturers design equipment to resist the effects of freezing but nothing is guaranteed.’
    • ‘These women are all HIV positive, and their ability to resist the infection is being undermined by the lack of food.’
    • ‘One important measure in resisting infection is to quit smoking.’
    • ‘Rather than passive systems that resist the effects of fire, these work to defeat it.’
    • ‘Gyroscopes create their own force through spinning, thereby resisting the effects of gravity.’
    • ‘The researchers used the fruit fly model to discover the way most mosquitoes resist malaria infection.’
    • ‘Tannin helps the leather to resist the effects of heat, decomposition by water and attack by all manner of organisms.’
    • ‘DN003 resists chemicals and can withstand most sterilization methods.’
    • ‘Lung adenocarcinoma, a non-small-cell lung cancer, tends to resist the effects of chemotherapy.’
    • ‘Mother's milk is full of special nutrients, hormones and antibodies that are passed on to infants to help them to resist infections, respiratory illness and diarrhoea.’
    • ‘It strengthens the lungs to resist the effects of sudden changes in the air, and it healthfully braces and invigorates the chest.’
    • ‘The loss of genetic diversity could result in animals with weakened immune systems, unable to resist infections that may wipe out whole flocks or herds.’
    • ‘Some regulators have been designed to resist the effect of jammed valves caused by cold.’
    • ‘Their bodies may be less able to resist infections, and they may be at greater risk for problems during surgery and anesthesia.’
    withstand, be proof against, hold out against, combat, counter
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    1. 1.1Try to prevent by action or argument.
      ‘we will resist changes to the treaty’
      • ‘In more recent years, however, defenders of the minimal state view have used a variant of this argument to resist the expansion of public programs.’
      • ‘In the gloomier scenario, communities continue to resist closures.’
      • ‘Posters carrying the message ‘Prevent torture, resist torture and help victims of torture’ will be circulated.’
      • ‘There are of course many ways to resist these arguments.’
      • ‘‘We will not be cowed by the courts, the campaign will continue to resist this unjust double tax,’ he said.’
      • ‘The longer a scientific theory resists disproof and continues to explain data well, the more certain we are that it is true.’
      • ‘In fact, if that's the motive of the government, them I think we've just identified the best argument for resisting the abolition of jury trials for fraud.’
      • ‘While we continue to resist the idea that cutting of trees of will solve the city's traffic problems, we will have to present some other viable options to address these problems.’
      • ‘Such an argument resists many of the typical counter-arguments directed at potentiality as an ethical consideration in the abortion debate.’
      • ‘But in some ways they have consistently resisted that argument when it's put by the media analysts.’
      • ‘He insisted that the people were determined to resist intimidation and vote buying.’
      • ‘It is far easier to resist change and continue to make millions from CD sales than to try to prejudge the future and embrace new technology, especially one that throws up new controversies every year.’
      • ‘Political groups which resist the advance of globalisation are protecting entrenched domestic lobbies.’
      • ‘I just said that one could resist the argument by objecting that there is no reason to think that seeing a non-physical flower sense-datum is the same type of mental state as seeing a real flower.’
      • ‘If it was proved that animal research helps to cure cancer, I would find it hard to resist that kind of argument.’
      • ‘It would certainly assist artists in resisting the argument that contemporary society represents the final stage of human development.’
      • ‘Campaigners in Stow and Bourton have vowed to continue resisting the proposals.’
      oppose, fight against, refuse to accept, be hostile to, object to, be anti, take a stand against, defy, go against, set one's face against, kick against, baulk at
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    2. 1.2Refrain from doing (something tempting or unwise)
      ‘I couldn't resist buying the blouse’
      • ‘Troubled by his colourful private life and convinced that he would never regard her as the love of his life, she had initially resisted his advances.’
      • ‘I expect I'll spend most of the day resisting going and buying another packet, and then the remainder of the day eating them.’
      • ‘I have however resisted the temptation to buy the first thing I saw.’
      • ‘He tried to give her a kiss on the cheek but she resisted his advance and pushed him away from her face briskly.’
      • ‘There aren't many who could resist the tempting creations and I thought it was only correct to sample the goodies.’
      • ‘Those who are growing old may be unwise to try to resist these pressures.’
      • ‘I resist the temptation to buy a didgeridoo, settling for a hand-painted bookmark, and spend a few minutes admiring the city skyline in the distance.’
      • ‘He couldn't resist such a tempting adventure, thus he traveled west, into this ancient forest to feed his curiosity.’
      • ‘Praise them when they've resisted the temptation to buy something they really wanted.’
      • ‘If you can't resist the urge to buy flips-flops, choose a pair with thicker soles to provide a little more cushioning.’
      • ‘The girl gritted her teeth distastefully and resisted the tempting urge to spit at the man.’
      • ‘Speaking as someone who has managed to resist the temptation to buy a mobile phone thus far, it's safe to say that ideas like this aren't going to entice me to join the majority any time soon.’
      • ‘What other considerations, then, can induce people to avoid or to resist such temptation?’
      • ‘They must resist impulse buys and not be fooled by tales of wonderful kennels supplying the store; no responsible breeder sells to pet stores.’
      • ‘She resists his advances for a while, but soon succumbs, and the two begin a torrid and wind-swept romance that carries on throughout the war.’
      love, adore, relish, be addicted to, have a weakness for, be very partial to, be very keen on, be very fond of, like
      delight in, enjoy, take great pleasure in
      have a thing about, be mad about, be hooked on, get a kick out of, get a thrill out of
      refrain from, abstain from, keep from, forbear from, desist from, forgo, avoid
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    3. 1.3[no object]Struggle or fight back when attacked.
      ‘without giving her time to resist, he dragged her off her feet’
      • ‘When the South started losing, the will to fight and resist slowly but irrevocably declined.’
      • ‘Some resisted and Cromwell himself attacked them, arresting three and executing one.’
      • ‘When they realised what had happened to them, they resisted and fought back against the invaders.’
      • ‘They demanded the keys to his car, but when the man resisted, the attackers ran off along the road and down an alleyway.’
      • ‘She had to find a way to fight, to resist as much as she possibly could.’
      • ‘You might be arrested for provoking or bad-mouthing police, resisting physically, or running away.’
      • ‘Danny begins to put up a fight, but he is too stunned to resist properly.’
      • ‘Then the boy struggled and resisted in a most surprising manner considering that he was clearly violating the law.’
      • ‘They said that he was very uncooperative and that he resisted and he began to fight with the officers.’
      • ‘Incredibly, the woman resisted and there was struggle between the two before the robber kneed the victim hard in the stomach and ripped the bag from her grasp.’
      • ‘The detainee did not resist when he was arrested and ‘behaved well’ during questioning, the sources said.’
      • ‘She tried to resist and struggle, but the weakness of the fever prevented her from even being able to free an arm from the blanket.’
      • ‘The police said that the robbers would not hesitate to attack the victims if they resisted.’
      • ‘There had to be a way to resist, to fight back and turn away.’
      • ‘She didn't resist, but a fight ensued as other spectators intervened.’
      • ‘He said he tried to arrest the defendant but he kept resisting and he eventually had to call for back-up.’
      • ‘Living together creates the illusion of having found adequate shelter and a feigned ability to resist in case of attack.’
      • ‘She had to fight the urge to resist, but it only lasted a minute.’
      • ‘Studies have shown that women who resist and fight back are less likely to be harmed than those women who submit passively.’
      • ‘Thirty surrender quietly, but 10 are shot trying to resist.’
      struggle against, struggle with, put up a fight against, battle against, stand up to, withstand, stand one's ground against, hold one's ground against, hold off, hold out against, contend with, confront, face up to
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  • A resistant substance applied as a coating to protect a surface during a process, for example to prevent dye or glaze adhering.

    ‘new lithographic techniques require their own special resists’
    [mass noun] ‘the exposed areas of resist will soften’
    • ‘Blue and green colors were added in separate operations that involved wax resist and dipping in indigo dye baths.’
    • ‘Preparatory work is done outdoors where she uses conte, gouache, pencil and wax resist.’
    • ‘The screen or mesh area is covered with a resist, such as wax, which plugs or blocks all of the screen openings, except in the area of the design image.’
    • ‘A carrier fluid, such as a gas, is then directed toward the semiconductor substrate so as to move the resist stripper across the substrate.’
    • ‘Using a combination of natural and chemical dyes, Enid has included in this exhibition works using the Japanese method of resist dyeing on silk, known as Shibori.’
    • ‘Then, a through-hole is formed in the resist layer so that the base layer is exposed via the through-hole.’
    • ‘A third, very-thick resist is then coated over the resist lenses and patterned to protect the diffractive elements.’
    • ‘Wax is most commonly used in ceramics to form a resist where one does not want glaze.’
    • ‘Experiments have shown that existing DUV resists can be extended for use with EUV.’
    • ‘After removing the cap layer not covered by the resist layer, a code mask layer is formed over the substrate.’
    • ‘Three techniques were used to pattern the resists: microcontact printing, conventional lithography and shadow masking.’
    • ‘Current results with resists are, of course, strictly in the experimental stage.’
    • ‘I then brush wax resist over some of the glazed areas and let the wax dry.’
    • ‘The disadvantages are that it takes a couple of light layers of clay for the resist, and the design is only on one side of the fabric.’
    • ‘Make sure to clean the surface well and remove all petroleum jelly as this will act as a resist for any glaze, antiquing pigment or varnish you try to apply after using this technique.’


Late Middle English: from Old French resister or Latin resistere, from re- (expressing opposition) + sistere stop (reduplication of stare to stand). The current sense of the noun dates from the mid 19th century.