Other forms: resistances

If you've ever seen a dog on a leash suddenly refuse to walk any farther, you know how much resistance one little pet can put up. Resistance means "refusal to comply with or accept something."

An individual person can put up resistance against something she disagrees with or doesn't want to participate in. On a larger scale, groups of people and even whole countries can display resistance, like when the British put up resistance against Napoleon. Another meaning of resistance is "the ability not to be affected by," like a resistance to getting colds, which you can imagine as your immune system putting up a fierce resistance against invading germs.

Definitions of resistance
  1. noun
    any mechanical force that tends to retard or oppose motion
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    friction, rubbing
    the resistance encountered when one body is moved in contact with another
    acoustic impedance, acoustic reactance, acoustic resistance
    opposition to the flow of sound through a surface; acoustic resistance is the real component of acoustic impedance and acoustic reactance is the imaginary component
    drag, retarding force
    the phenomenon of resistance to motion through a fluid
    abrasion, attrition, detrition, grinding
    the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice
    adhesive friction, grip, traction
    the friction between a body and the surface on which it moves (as between an automobile tire and the road)
    sonic barrier, sound barrier
    the increase in aerodynamic drag as an airplane approaches the speed of sound
    the retarding force of air friction on a moving object
    type of:
    mechanical phenomenon
    a physical phenomenon associated with the equilibrium or motion of objects
  2. noun
    the action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with
    “he encountered a general feeling of resistance from many citizens”
    synonyms: opposition
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    a management action resisting employee's demands; employees are barred from entering the workplace until they agree to terms
    doing something in opposition to another way of doing it that you don't like
    anti-takeover defense
    resistance to or defense against a hostile takeover
    an adverse reaction to some political or social occurrence
    type of:
    something done (usually as opposed to something said)
  3. noun
    group action in opposition to those in power
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    confrontation, opposition
    the act of hostile groups opposing each other
    sales resistance
    resistance by potential customers to aggressive selling practices
    a defiant act
    contravention, dispute
    coming into conflict with
    deliberate interference
    dissent, objection, protest
    the act of protesting; a public (often organized) manifestation of dissent
    refusal to accept some authority or code or convention
    insubordination, rebelliousness
    an insubordinate act
    a group's refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization in protest against its policies
    confrontational activities intended to break up a strike by workers
    direct action
    a protest action by labor or minority groups to obtain their demands
    demonstration, manifestation
    a public display of group feelings (usually of a political nature)
    the act of walking out (of a meeting or organization) as a sign of protest
    obstinate rebelliousness and insubordination; resistance to authority
    disobedience, noncompliance
    the failure to obey
    type of:
    group action
    action taken by a group of people
  4. noun
    a secret group organized to overthrow a government or occupation force
    synonyms: underground
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    the French underground that fought against the German occupation in World War II
    type of:
    revolutionary group
    a political unit organized to promote revolution
  5. noun
    the military action of resisting the enemy's advance
    “the enemy offered little resistance
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    type of:
    action, military action
    a military engagement
  6. noun
    an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
    synonyms: resistor
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    ballast, ballast resistor, barretter
    a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (as those arising from temperature fluctuations)
    potential divider, voltage divider
    resistors connected in series across a voltage source; used to obtain a desired fraction of the voltage
    rheostat, variable resistor
    resistor for regulating current
    a rheostat that varies the current through an electric light in order to control the level of illumination
    pot, potentiometer
    a resistor with three terminals, the third being an adjustable center terminal; used to adjust voltages in radios and TV sets
    type of:
    electrical device
    a device that produces or is powered by electricity
  7. noun
    a material's opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms
    synonyms: electric resistance, electrical resistance, impedance, ohmic resistance, resistivity
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    the ohmic resistance of a conductor
    type of:
    electrical phenomenon
    a physical phenomenon involving electricity
  8. noun
    the capacity of an organism to defend itself against harmful environmental agents
    “these trees are widely planted because of their resistance to salt and smog”
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    capability, capacity
    the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment
  9. noun
    (medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease
    synonyms: immunity
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    the property of eliciting an immune response
    acquired immunity
    immunity to a particular disease that is not innate but has been acquired during life; immunity can be acquired by the development of antibodies after an attack of an infectious disease or by a pregnant mother passing antibodies through the placenta to a fetus or by vaccination
    innate immunity, natural immunity
    immunity to disease that occurs as part of an individual's natural biologic makeup
    active immunity
    a form of acquired immunity in which the body produces its own antibodies against disease-causing antigens
    passive immunity
    an impermanent form of acquired immunity in which antibodies against a disease are acquired naturally (as through the placenta to an unborn child) or artificially (as by injection of antiserum)
    racial immunity
    natural immunity shared by all members of a particular race
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  10. noun
    the degree of unresponsiveness of a disease-causing microorganism to antibiotics or other drugs (as in penicillin-resistant bacteria)
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    type of:
    deadness, unresponsiveness
    the quality of being unresponsive; not reacting; as a quality of people, it is marked by a failure to respond quickly or with emotion to people or events
  11. noun
    (psychiatry) an unwillingness to bring repressed feelings into conscious awareness
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    type of:
    involuntariness, unwillingness
    the trait of being unwilling




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘resistance'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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