Resistance

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RESISTANCE. The opposition of force to force.
     2. Resistance is either lawful or unlawful. 1. It is lawful to resist one who is in the act of committing a felony or other crime, or who maliciously endeavors to commit such felony or crime. See self defence. And a man may oppose force to force against one who endeavors to make an arrest, or to enter his house without lawful authority for the purpose; or, if in certain cases he abuse such authority, and do more than he was authorized to do; or if it turn out in the result he has no right to enter, then the party about to be imprisoned, or whose house is about to be illegally entered, may resist the illegal imprisonment or entry by self-defence, not using any dangerous weapons, and may escape, be rescued, or even break prison, and others may assist him in so doing. 5 Taunt. 765; 1 B. & Adol, 166; 1 East, P. C. 295; 5 East, 304; 1 Chit. Pr. 634. See Regular and Irregular Process.
     3.-2. Resistance is unlawful when the persons having a lawful authority to arrest, apprehend, or imprison, or otherwise to advance or execute the public justice of the country, either civil or criminal, and using the proper means for that purpose, are resisted in so doing; and if the party guilty of such resistance, or others assisting him, be killed in the struggle, such homicide is justifiable; while on the other hand, if the officer be killed, it will, at common law, be murder in those who resist. Fost. 270; 1 Hale, 457; 1 East, P. C. 305.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.
The natural measure of this power is the resistance of circumstances.
But if I go to see an ingenious man I shall think myself poorly entertained if he give me nimble pieces of benevolence and etiquette; rather he shall stand stoutly in his place and let me apprehend if it were only his resistance; know that I have encountered a new and positive quality;--great refreshment for both of us.
On that occasion I have been told that a considerable detachment of sailors and marines from the frigate Essex, accompanied by at least two thousand warriors of Happar and Nukuheva, landed in boats and canoes at the head of the bay, and after penetrating a little distance into the valley, met with the stoutest resistance from its inmates.
This yielding to the idea of Stephen's suffering was more fatal than the other yielding, because it was less distinguishable from that sense of others' claims which was the moral basis of her resistance.
All yielding is attended with a less vivid consciousness than resistance; it is the partial sleep of thought; it is the submergence of our own personality by another.
"No, sir, with the exception of two or three friends every one deserted him; he had no means of resistance."
"No, my friends," replied Aramis, solemnly; "no, my friends; no resistance. The king is master in his kingdom.
The hard trials to my courage, endurance, and physical strength, through which I had passed within the last twelve hours, had completely exhausted all my powers of resistance. I went away speechless to my own room; and when I found myself alone there, burst out crying.
During this combat and the brief conversation which ensued, Cedric, at the head of a body of men, among whom the Friar was conspicuous, had pushed across the bridge as soon as they saw the postern open, and drove back the dispirited and despairing followers of De Bracy, of whom some asked quarter, some offered vain resistance, and the greater part fled towards the court-yard.
A Bricklayer earnestly recommended bricks as affording the best material for an effective resistance. A Carpenter, with equal enthusiasm, proposed timber as a preferable method of defense.
It is acted upon by three independent forces: the resistance of the air, the attraction of the earth, and the force of impulsion with which it is endowed.