Old English wiðstandan "resist, oppose," from wið "against" (see with) + standan "to stand" (see stand (v.)); perhaps a loan-translation of Latin resistere "to resist" (see resist). Similar formation in Old Norse viðstanda, Old Frisian withstonda, Old High German widarstan, German widerstehen. In 14c. and early 15c., withsit was in use with the same meaning. Related: Withstood; withstanding.