Definition of withstand in English:


Pronunciation /wiT͟Hˈstand//wiTHˈstand/


  • 1 Remain undamaged or unaffected by; resist.

    ‘the structure had been designed to withstand winds of more than 100 mph’
    • ‘The lightweight, cellulose-reinforced cement board withstands high winds and corrosion.’
    • ‘But it adds that nuclear power plants were not designed to withstand attacks such as large aircraft impact.’
    • ‘The material withstands rain and wind without rotting.’
    • ‘Moreover a computer network that was designed to withstand a nuclear attack is not too easily closed down.’
    • ‘The fortified doors were designed to withstand extreme pressure and a hail of bullets.’
    • ‘There are only two houses on Gugh, both of which have oddly curved roofs, designed to withstand the winter gales.’
    • ‘Their structure is designed to withstand the harshest heat, wind and occasional sea spray.’
    • ‘Such hoses are designed to withstand water pressure if the water is left on continuously.’
    • ‘Not many flowers are designed specifically to withstand cold and frosty weather.’
    • ‘Very few buildings, other than bomb shelters, are designed to withstand impact from the outside.’
    • ‘So this levee was not designed to withstand a hurricane the magnitude of Katrina.’
    • ‘The family were forced to seek refuge in an office building that was designed to withstand hurricanes.’
    • ‘The new bench is made from heavy duty material designed to withstand vandalism.’
    • ‘Are the estimated 10 lakh trees in the city capable of withstanding the gusty wind.’
    • ‘The Alaskan kites are very hardy and can withstand wind speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.’
    • ‘So far, luckily, the Internet has proven to be incredibly robust (by design), by withstanding these behind-the-scenes attacks.’
    • ‘They're either too weak to withstand any hits or their attacks do little other than annoy this rebel hellion.’
    • ‘In so far as possible, the houses will be designed to withstand earthquakes.’
    • ‘Whether the Blair government's new law withstands judicial scrutiny remains to be seen.’
    • ‘This tough plant withstands full sun and wind in soggy conditions.’
    resist, hold out against, stand firm against, hold one's ground against, stand one's ground against, bear up against, hold the line against, persevere in the face of, stand up to, fight, combat, grapple with, oppose, face, confront, defy, brave
    weather, survive, live through, ride out, endure, take, cope with, stand, tolerate, bear, put up with
    go the distance against
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Offer strong resistance or opposition to (someone or something)
      • ‘Ramachandran initially thought that the young girl would not be able to withstand the pressure.’
      • ‘With firm insistence such as this, how could Charlie have withstood such opposition?’
      • ‘Leighlin then withstood some strong pressure from Naomh Eoin, who with Robert Foley prominent, threatened to snatch a winning goal.’
      • ‘Straffan withstood a very strong comeback from the home side in the second half that yielded a goal from Toms Fitzgerald from 25 yards, to claim victory.’
      • ‘Any amount of opposing forces can be withstood without any harm to Hinduism.’
      • ‘By 1216 the castle was sufficiently strong to withstand a siege by forces opposed to King John.’
      • ‘The shield did not look especially strong, but it withstood pressure that would have crushed the man.’
      • ‘Lamb is a miraculous meat, robustly withstanding strong flavours, showcasing subtler vibes without overpowering them, brightened by fruit, bouncing off tomato, enlivened by herbs.’
      • ‘A viable decision making system must be able to withstand the rigorous critique of players.’
      • ‘Tattersall's has been able to withstand severe pressure on costs by virtue of a blessed business environment.’
      • ‘Few of us are able to withstand the onslaught of the forces of money and greed.’
      • ‘You need to have strong principle to be able to withstand the pressures and temptations.’
      • ‘The second half was a different story as they had to withstand strong pressure from New Oak.’
      • ‘In the game against Army, Air Force withstood a strong start from Army and the teams went in at half-time at nil-all.’
      • ‘I wish they made these things able to withstand the hypocrisy of partisan politics.’


Old English withstandan, from the prefix with- against + the verb stand.