Water resistant means that an item can withstand rain, snow and wet weather. Do not submerge this type of gear in water, unless you want to ruin it. Water-resistant fabrics keep water from being absorbed—water will just bead off the fabric.
On the other hand, if you're more of a water-bound operator, stock up on waterproof gear. It's specifically designed to be completely submerged in water and still provide top-notch performance.