Definition of resistance in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈzɪst(ə)ns/


1 [mass noun] The refusal to accept or comply with something: they displayed a narrow-minded resistance to change
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Police and troops deployed around the parliament building failed to offer any resistance to the demonstrators who stormed into the main chamber.
  • Bloom's theory, by contrast, turns on the notion of involuntary imitation, and (conscious or unconscious) resistance to it.
opposition to, hostility to, aversion to, refusal to accept, unwillingness to accept, disinclination to accept, reluctance to accept, lack of enthusiasm for
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
More example sentences
  • If the intent to stop this madness is forced to go through the path of resistance and violence, than so so be it.
  • Support for the so called resistance or newer anti-occupation forces will mean bloodshed on a much greater scale than there is at present.
  • The garrison of Kilkenny surrendered without putting up much resistance and Cromwell's forces entered the town without losing a man.
opposition, fight, battle, stand, struggle, confrontation, defiance
1.2 (also resistance movement) A secret organization resisting authority, especially in an occupied country: he went underground and joined the resistance
More example sentences
  • A resistance movement emerged on a scale that the military had not anticipated.
  • But many people said that it was the Italian resistance movement that liberated Italy from fascism.
  • But the hopes of the resistance movement - 80 percent Communist - were dashed.
underground, freedom fighters, partisans, guerrillas
in France , historical Maquis
1.3 (the Resistance) The underground movement formed in France during the Second World War to fight the German occupying forces and the Vichy government. Also called maquis.
Example sentences
  • The teenage Giscard was in the French Resistance during World War II.
  • 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.
  • 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
More example sentences
  • He'd leave the windows open in winter so we'd develop a resistance to cold.
  • The drugs used to prevent the body rejecting the new heart adversely weakened his resistance to infection.
  • 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.
2.1 [mass noun] Medicine & Biology 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Nevertheless, drug resistance will continue and vigilance is necessary.
ability to fight off, ability to counteract, ability to withstand, immunity from, defences against;
3The impeding or stopping effect exerted by one material thing on another: air resistance was reduced by streamlining
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The speed reached by such a body depends on the ratio of the effort exerted to the resistance offered.
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.
Example sentences
  • The voltage and/or resistance and thereby the temperature of each thermistor is measured at several second intervals.
  • Bolometers are devices whose electrical resistance changes with temperature.
  • Input resistance was measured as the voltage deflection induced by a - 0.5 or - 1.0 nA current pulse.
4.1 [count noun] A resistor or other circuit component which opposes the passage of an electric current.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Therefore, the insulation is stressed only in one direction, and the resistance and wire gauge remain largely unchanged.
  • 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.


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
More example sentences
  • Of course, there will be those who will choose the path of least resistance and remain silent on the matter.
  • But as I have nothing new to trade, I choose the path of least resistance.
  • What really happens when you choose the path of least resistance?


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

Words that rhyme with resistance

assistance, coexistence, consistence, distance, existence, insistence, outdistance, persistence, subsistence

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|sist|ance

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