Definition of resistance in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The refusal to accept or comply with something.

    ‘they displayed a narrow-minded resistance to change’
    • ‘They encountered considerable resistance on the part of small farmers and others, particular in mountain communities.’
    • ‘By and large, universities offered remarkably little resistance to these changes, bending the knee whenever their funding masters passed by.’
    • ‘Before gay and lesbian couples can march off to the chapel to get married, there will be plenty of obstacles and lots of resistance from forces opposed to gay marriage.’
    • ‘It is understood that the Queen's courtiers put up strong resistance to his purchase of the lease, because they feared that it would put a strain on Edward's finances.’
    • ‘Political leaders are confronted suddenly with a new set of conditions that makes continued resistance futile.’
    • ‘With the utmost resistance I forced my eyes open.’
    • ‘While striking workers put up no resistance, violence flared later following the island's largest demonstration in years.’
    • ‘‘There was some resistance to our vintage section because some customers thought it was too expensive,’ said Kate.’
    • ‘But, while Britain may have led the world in interest in animal welfare, British governments have led the world in resistance to change.’
    • ‘Perhaps any film industry resistance to a rock star making a movie had less to do with prejudice than with the disaster that inevitably unfolds when musicians decide to dabble in film.’
    • ‘Indeed, though most Americans will embrace some type of solemn memorial today, there is resistance to dwelling on the horrifying tragedies of a year ago.’
    • ‘But there has been considerable resistance to changes that would see schools abandon attempts to maintain a welcoming atmosphere.’
    • ‘While more young people want to live in a new home, recent research suggests resistance to modern houses is strongest among older and better-off people.’
    • ‘The abbey was dissolved in 1539 during Henry VIII's fallout with Rome but became a centre of resistance to Henry's moves against Catholicism.’
    • ‘British mobile phone operators are likely to mount strong resistance to any flat fee, although they may be more receptive to a single tariff for the island of Ireland.’
    • ‘Bloom's theory, by contrast, turns on the notion of involuntary imitation, and (conscious or unconscious) resistance to it.’
    • ‘There will be resistance to breaking down more than 300 years of tradition, and there are undoubtedly question marks remaining about competition issues.’
    • ‘They used to be frequently invoked as an inspiring example of heroic resistance to injustice and oppression.’
    • ‘Many people seem to take this for granted and consider all resistance futile.’
    • ‘Police and troops deployed around the parliament building failed to offer any resistance to the demonstrators who stormed into the main chamber.’
    opposition to, hostility to, aversion to, refusal to accept, unwillingness to accept, disinclination to accept, reluctance to accept, lack of enthusiasm for
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    1. 1.1The use of force or violence to oppose someone or something.
      ‘government forces were unable to crush guerrilla-style resistance’
      ‘she put up no resistance to being led away’
      • ‘The garrison of Kilkenny surrendered without putting up much resistance and Cromwell's forces entered the town without losing a man.’
      • ‘Small groups must move rapidly to seize critical nodes in a building, while a follow-on force deals with remaining resistance.’
      • ‘It broke down not because it met with stiff physical resistance from security forces but more because it was an ideological flop.’
      • ‘But they have been saying for months that there could be civil unrest, there could be resistance with force of arms.’
      • ‘Support for the so called resistance or newer anti-occupation forces will mean bloodshed on a much greater scale than there is at present.’
      • ‘However, there was no information on whether security forces had encountered resistance as they retook the town.’
      • ‘Three soldiers were killed as the coalition forces met fierce resistance.’
      • ‘Federal authorities vigorously enforced later drafts, employing sufficient military force to quell any resistance.’
      • ‘Where is the ethical norm that stipulates resistance against murderous force without any concern for one's own security?’
      • ‘As the enemy resistance crumbled and forces melted away, more of the coalition's combat forces were assigned to other missions.’
      • ‘Fighting raged in the capital on Sunday with forces meeting fierce resistance in their efforts to capture the city.’
      • ‘If the intent to stop this madness is forced to go through the path of resistance and violence, than so so be it.’
      • ‘To their surprise, though, they met significant resistance from loyalist forces.’
      • ‘U.S. forces have cited armed resistance from inside the complex as the main reason they could not seal off the museum and prevent the looting.’
      • ‘Security forces could employ the weapon to overcome resistance without resorting to force, their paramount aim.’
      opposition, fight, battle, stand, struggle, confrontation, defiance
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    2. 1.2A secret organization resisting authority, especially in an occupied country.
      ‘he went underground and joined the resistance’
      • ‘The resistance movement of Yugoslavia played an important role in World War Two.’
      • ‘The Dutch resistance movement came about because of two simple facts - outrage that their country had been invaded and sheer horror at what happened to the Dutch Jews.’
      • ‘Communist groups throughout Europe had done little to assist any resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Europe.’
      • ‘The resistance movement has pinned down our soldiers and contractors as enemy occupiers.’
      • ‘But many people said that it was the Italian resistance movement that liberated Italy from fascism.’
      • ‘The leader of this resistance movement is a mysterious figure known only as Kuato.’
      • ‘The Communist Party was at the heart of the resistance movement.’
      • ‘A resistance movement emerged on a scale that the military had not anticipated.’
      • ‘The resistance movement of Greece played a relatively small part in the whole scheme of events in the eastern Mediterranean during World War Two.’
      • ‘Poland's resistance movement could concentrate all its resources on a common enemy.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the man, who as a 16-year-old was a member of the Polish resistance movement, fell to the ground on his knees clutching his chest.’
      • ‘But the hopes of the resistance movement - 80 percent Communist - were dashed.’
      • ‘The Norwegian resistance movement played an important part in World War Two.’
      • ‘What if this woman isn't the member of some resistance movement?’
      • ‘They seem to be running some sort of resistance movement.’
      • ‘However, there is no resistance movement to fuel such an uprising.’
      • ‘She would, of course, provide a rallying point for any resistance movement, so she must be eliminated.’
      • ‘This was because of the Norwegian resistance movement, which managed to make some trouble for the Nazi occupation.’
      • ‘A resistance movement targets the occupiers, not the occupied.’
      • ‘He would be a freedom fighter, a resistance fighter.’
      underground, freedom fighters, partisans, guerrillas
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    3. 1.3The underground movement formed in France during the Second World War to fight the German occupying forces and the Vichy government.
      Also called maquis
      • ‘Over the course of the war, the French Resistance scored key victories against the German occupations forces.’
      • ‘While serving with the French Free Forces of the Interior, he met a girl, also from the south of France, who was in the Resistance.’
      • ‘The French Resistance supplied the Allies with vital intelligence reports as well as doing a huge amount of work to disrupt the German supply and communication lines within France.’
      • ‘The teenage Giscard was in the French Resistance during World War II.’
      • ‘Everything Hollywood taught me about the Resistance is wrong.’
  • 2The ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely.

    ‘some of us have a lower resistance to cold than others’
    • ‘Dietitians also recommend eating yogurt, which can help strengthen the body's resistance to infection.’
    • ‘Diabetes lowers your body's resistance to infections and slows your ability to heal.’
    • ‘Systemic vascular resistance is increased, especially in the muscle and skin.’
    • ‘Most disease resistance traits are measured as one or more discrete characters.’
    • ‘A healthier diet has also increased my resistance to colds.’
    • ‘The gene content of chromosomal segments conditioning quantitative resistance to multiple pathogens was inspected.’
    • ‘She was given morphine and needed ventilation for her subsequent apnoea and to try to lower her pulmonary resistance to improve lung blood flow.’
    • ‘He'd leave the windows open in winter so we'd develop a resistance to cold.’
    • ‘One of the many benefits of being 20 is the resistance to illness.’
    • ‘The drugs used to prevent the body rejecting the new heart adversely weakened his resistance to infection.’
    • ‘This heat dries out the skin and lowers its resistance to the sun.’
    • ‘If your mouth is unhealthy, especially with gum disease, it overloads your health every moment of the day, lowering your resistance to all disease.’
    • ‘They're naturally gifted with strong stomachs and a powerful resistance to viral and bacterial agents.’
    • ‘Sorry to bring up smoking again, but smoking reduces your resistance to bugs, lowers the body's ability to expel the mucus and lengthens recovery time.’
    • ‘Hypersensitivity responses play a major role in plant resistance to pathogens.’
    1. 2.1Biology Medicine [mass noun]Lack of sensitivity to a drug, insecticide, etc., especially as a result of continued exposure or genetic change.
      ‘many insects show resistance to at least one chemical’
      • ‘Drug resistance arises by natural selection, mutant strains being selected when the virus replicates in sub-limiting drug concentrations.’
      • ‘New antimicrobial agents are urgently needed to counter growing drug resistance.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, drug resistance will continue and vigilance is necessary.’
      • ‘In vitro drug susceptibility indicated resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampin.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, these numbers are on the rise due to insecticide resistance, antimalarial drug resistance, and environmental changes.’
      ability to fight off, ability to counteract, ability to withstand, immunity from, defences against
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  • 3The impeding or stopping effect exerted by one material thing on another.

    ‘air resistance was reduced by streamlining’
    • ‘Engineers help cyclists battle drag - the wind resistance that impedes forward motion.’
    • ‘An individual insect was placed on the test material within a clear plastic canopy to eliminate effects of air resistance.’
    • ‘The speed reached by such a body depends on the ratio of the effort exerted to the resistance offered.’
    • ‘More subtle effects of air resistance on projectile motion are related to the shape and rotation of the object.’
    • ‘Initially they will accelerate, but they will soon reach a constant terminal velocity when the air resistance around them offsets their downward acceleration.’
  • 4The degree to which a substance or device opposes the passage of an electric current, causing energy dissipation. By Ohm's law resistance (measured in ohms) is equal to the voltage divided by the current.

    • ‘This means that the electrical resistance of the device can be changed dramatically using a very small magnetic field.’
    • ‘The voltage and/or resistance and thereby the temperature of each thermistor is measured at several second intervals.’
    • ‘Input resistance was measured as the voltage deflection induced by a - 0.5 or - 1.0 nA current pulse.’
    • ‘Although he did not express it in these terms, it had also been deduced from Aristotle's Physics that the velocity of a body was proportional to the force acting on it divided by the resistance.’
    • ‘Bolometers are devices whose electrical resistance changes with temperature.’
    1. 4.1[count noun]A resistor or other circuit component which opposes the passage of an electric current.
      • ‘A resistance unit has a temperature fuse between a resistance and a terminal for deactivating a resistance circuit when the motor reaches the permissible maximum temperature.’
      • ‘Their wheelchair is a modification of the standard apparatus: the wheelchair is fitted with two motors, which are controlled by a panel based on light-dependent diodes and resistances.’
      • ‘The circuit only has an input voltage, a diode, and a resistance across the output.’
      • ‘Therefore, the insulation is stressed only in one direction, and the resistance and wire gauge remain largely unchanged.’


  • the line (or path) of least resistance

    • The easiest course of action.

      ‘he was easily deflected from his purpose and always chose the line of least resistance’
      • ‘Many bands with a conscience choose the path of least resistance: the charity record.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, most players will simply take the path of least resistance, and choose to do whatever is easier.’
      • ‘He'll likely take the path of least resistance, the one with the fewest ‘practical difficulties’’
      • ‘What really happens when you choose the path of least resistance?’
      • ‘However, victory and satisfaction belong to those who do not choose the path of least resistance when faced with major life challenges.’
      • ‘Obviously they must carefully weigh their options; in some instances the path of least resistance is chosen.’
      • ‘Instead of healthy eating, we choose the path of least resistance: convenience foods, snack food or even fast food.’
      • ‘But as I have nothing new to trade, I choose the path of least resistance.’
      • ‘Of course, there will be those who will choose the path of least resistance and remain silent on the matter.’
      • ‘Finally, when given the opportunity to effect change, many powerless people choose the path of least resistance.’


Late Middle English: from French résistance, from late Latin resistentia, from the verb resistere hold back (see resist).