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adjective re·sil·ient \ri-ˈzil-yənt\

Simple Definition of resilient

  • : able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

  • : able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of resilient

  1. :  characterized or marked by resilience: as a :  capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture b :  tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

resiliently adverb

Examples of resilient in a sentence

  1. The tallow tree, an ornamental species introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1772, can quickly grow to 10 metres and is resilient to many pests. —New Scientist, 19-25 Aug. 2006

  2. In this affecting and eloquent account of the Dew family members' attempts to come to terms with the homosexuality of the elder son … Stephen emerges as a remarkably resilient and self-aware young man. —Genevieve Stuttaford, Publishers Weekly, 18 Apr. 1994

  3. Scientists are trying to figure out how the complex structure of such crystals and polymers and their interactions on the molecular level lead to resilient materials like sea shells, teeth and bones. —JoAnn Shroyer, Quark, Critters and Chaos, 1993

  4. Old roses are tough and resilient; they may be a little loose and blowzy … but the fact remains, these bushes want to live. —Beverly Lowry, New York Times Book Review, 3 Dec. 1989

  5. Hot-dipped nails have a resilient, thick zinc jacket that withstands more of the perils of a nail's life. —Jim Locke, The Apple Corps Guide to the Well-Built House, 1988

  6. The local economy is remarkably resilient.

  7. <after being dipped in liquid nitrogen, the rubber ball's normally resilient surface is as brittle as ceramic>

Origin of resilient

Latin resilient-, resiliens, present participle of resilire to jump back, recoil, from re- + salire to leap — more at sally

First Known Use: 1674

Synonym Discussion of resilient

elastic, resilient, springy, flexible, supple mean able to endure strain without being permanently injured. elastic implies the property of resisting deformation by stretching <an elastic waistband>. resilient implies the ability to recover shape quickly when the deforming force or pressure is removed <a resilient innersole>. springy stresses both the ease with which something yields to pressure and the quickness of its return to original shape <the cake is done when the top is springy>. flexible applies to something which may or may not be resilient or elastic but which can be bent or folded without breaking <flexible plastic tubing>. supple applies to something that can be readily bent, twisted, or folded without any sign of injury <supple leather>.

Medical Dictionary


adjective re·sil·ient \-yənt\

Medical Definition of resilient

  1. :  characterized or marked by resilience

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up resilient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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