from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of resisting or the capacity to resist.
  • noun A force that tends to oppose or retard motion.
  • noun An underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.
  • noun Psychology A process in which the ego opposes the conscious recall of anxiety-producing experiences.
  • noun The capacity of an organism to defend itself against a disease.
  • noun The capacity of an organism or a tissue to withstand the effects of a harmful environmental agent.
  • noun Medicine The inability of a cell, tissue, or organ to respond to a certain hormone, drug, or other biologically active substance in a desired way.
  • noun Electricity The opposition of a body or substance to current passing through it, resulting in a change of electrical energy into heat or another form of energy.
  • noun Thermal resistance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In naval architecture, the reaction which a vessel opposes to an extraneous force by which it is dragged or driven through the water, and particularly to motion forward in the direction of the length of the vessel.
  • noun Resistance to the flow of current which occurs at the surface between conductors in contact, as in the coherer, or between the liquid and the terminal of an electrolyticcell, or between the heated gas in the electric are and the carbon.
  • noun The resistance offered by a dielectric to the passage of an electric current; the ohmic resistance of an insulating substance.
  • noun The act of resisting; opposition; antagonism.
  • noun The force exerted by a fluid or other medium to retard the motion of a body through it; more generally, any force which always acts in a direction opposite to the residual velocity, or to any component of it: as, resistance to shearing.
  • noun In electricity, that property of a conductor in virtue of which the passage of a current through it is accompanied by a dissipation of energy; the transformation of electric energy into heat.
  • noun Synonyms Hindrance, antagonism, check. See appose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of resisting; opposition, passive or active.
  • noun (Physics) The quality of not yielding to force or external pressure; that power of a body which acts in opposition to the impulse or pressure of another, or which prevents the effect of another power
  • noun A means or method of resisting; that which resists.
  • noun (Elec.) A certain hindrance or opposition to the passage of an electrical current or discharge offered by conducting bodies. It bears an inverse relation to the conductivity, -- good conductors having a small resistance, while poor conductors or insulators have a very high resistance. The unit of resistance is the ohm.
  • noun (Elec.) a rheostat consisting of a box or case containing a number of resistance coils of standard values so arranged that they can be combined in various ways to afford more or less resistance.
  • noun (Elec.) a coil of wire introduced into an electric circuit to increase the resistance.
  • noun (Mech.) a solid of such a form as to experience, in moving in a fluid, less resistance than any other solid having the same base, height, and volume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of resisting, or the capacity to resist.
  • noun physics A force that tends to oppose motion.
  • noun physics Shortened form of electrical resistance.
  • noun An underground organization engaged in a struggle for liberation from forceful occupation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the degree of unresponsiveness of a disease-causing microorganism to antibiotics or other drugs (as in penicillin-resistant bacteria)
  • noun group action in opposition to those in power
  • noun the capacity of an organism to defend itself against harmful environmental agents
  • noun any mechanical force that tends to retard or oppose motion
  • noun a secret group organized to overthrow a government or occupation force
  • noun the military action of resisting the enemy's advance
  • noun (medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease
  • noun an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
  • noun (psychiatry) an unwillingness to bring repressed feelings into conscious awareness
  • noun a material's opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms
  • noun the action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French résistance


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word resistance.


  • The OHM, as a unit of measurement, equals a unit of _resistance_ that is equivalent to the resistance of a hundred feet of copper wire the size of a pin.

    Steam, Steel and Electricity James W. Steele

  • In this case the difference in resistance is huge and the current through any human will be negligent.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - These guys are brilliant… 2008

  • It is all of that, because, again, when the population all of a sudden shifts from either tacitly accepting or maybe even actively supporting Al Qaeda and seeing them cloaked in the term resistance, and then seeing them for what they are, which is the purveyors of extremist ideology, indiscriminate violence and even oppressive practices.

    CNN Transcript Apr 10, 2008 2008

  • PAS, the chemotherapeutic remedy detected by the Swedish biochemist Lehmann, the development of streptomycin resistance is delayed.

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1952 - Presentation Speech 1964

  • The reference to resistance is code for Hamas and Hizbullah to prepare to get active again.

    Israelated - English Israel blogs 2010

  • He claimed that the term resistance is not even mentioned in the Taif Accord, "contrary to the opposition's claims."

    The Daily Star > News Feed 2009

  • The term resistance is often used to encompass both violent and nonviolent means of struggle.

    IMRA Middle East News Updates 2009

  • I have never wanted to leave the Island; I have believed (romantically, I am sure) that I am more useful here, that I belong to this place and that my resistance is also my own way of paying my homage and my respect to the Cuba that we we all want, including those who rebelled that day.

    Global Voices in English » Cuba: The Maleconazo 2009

  • This resistance is also widespread among private landowners, and, according to an AP article a few weeks ago, "About the same time, the government offered to pay some property owners $3,000 in exchange for permission to conduct surveys for the project."


  • This ‘meandering’ of the electrons makes them more likely to hit an atom of the metal, and the resistance is therefore increased:

    And the Physics Nobel Prize goes to… « Skulls in the Stars 2007


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.