resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈre-zə-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio) , ˈrez-nən(t)s\

Definition of resonance

1a : the quality or state of being resonant
b(1) : a vibration of large amplitude in a mechanical or electrical system caused by a relatively small periodic stimulus of the same or nearly the same period as the natural vibration period of the system
(2) : the state of adjustment that produces resonance in a mechanical or electrical system
2a : the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration
b : a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (such as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
c : a quality of richness or variety
d : a quality of evoking response how much resonance the scandal seems to be havingU.S. News & World Report
3 : the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
4 : the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (such as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
5a : the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system
6 : an extremely short-lived elementary particle
7 : a synchronous gravitational relationship of two celestial bodies (such as moons) that orbit a third (such as a planet) which can be expressed as a simple ratio of their orbital periods

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Resonance Uses Beyond Sound

Many of the finest musical instruments possess a high degree of resonance which, by producing additional vibrations and echoes of the original sound, enriches and amplifies it. Violins made by the Italian masters Stradivari and Guarneri possess a quality of resonance that later violinmakers have never precisely duplicated. And you may have noticed how a particular note will start something in a room buzzing, as one of the touching surfaces begins to resonate with the note. Because of that, resonance and resonate—along with the adjective resonant—aren't always used to describe sound. For example, you may say that a novel resonates strongly with you because the author seems to be describing your own experiences and feelings.

Examples of resonance in a Sentence

the resonance of the singer's voice His story didn't have much resonance with the audience.

Recent Examples on the Web

The film is bound to have particular resonance for residents of metro Detroit, which has seen its share of plant closings and the arrival of Fuyao in Plymouth in 2016. Detroit Free Press, "Acclaimed Netflix documentary 'American Factory' gets free local screening," 26 Aug. 2019 The laughs have an emotional resonance remarkable for a comedian who has been doing stand-up for only four years. Globe Correspondent, BostonGlobe.com, "Comic Will Martin wants to make you laugh at death, after you’ve squirmed a bit," 12 June 2019 The thing is, many image-makers are divorced from emotional resonance. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "'Solo' cinematographer finds light in the darkness," 24 May 2018 What doesn't: The film lacks an effective audience surrogate, which keeps it from achieving adequate emotional resonance. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "'7 Days in Entebbe' movie review: Hijacking drama never quite takes off," 16 Mar. 2018 With its poetic collage of image and sound, the piece’s subject, climate change, has deep resonance for a city uncomfortably close to the sea. BostonGlobe.com, "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 7 Aug. 2019 People are people, and human relationships have resonance far beyond a person’s sexuality. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: My creepy neighbor got angry when I told him to stay away," 2 Aug. 2019 Bourdain’s empathy doesn’t feel like virtue signaling, either, a cynical term that had no resonance in 2001. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "Overlooked among his many books, Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Typhoid Mary’ is a revelation in 2019," 30 July 2019 Despite treatment, disease advances The results have particular resonance in San Antonio, where more than 14 percent of adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "A ‘scary disease’: Children with Type 2 diabetes suffer from advanced complications, study finds," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resonance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of resonance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for resonance

Middle English resonaunce, from Middle French resonance, from resoner to resound — more at resound

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Statistics for resonance

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for resonance

The first known use of resonance was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for resonance

resonance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of resonance

formal : the quality of a sound that stays loud, clear, and deep for a long time
formal : a quality that makes something personally meaningful or important to someone
technical : a sound or vibration produced in one object that is caused by the sound or vibration produced in another

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈre-zə-nəns How to pronounce resonance (audio) \

Kids Definition of resonance

: a long loud, clear, and deep quality of sound

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈrez-ᵊn-ən(t)s, ˈrez-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio) \

Medical Definition of resonance

1 : a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
2 : the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
3 : the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
4a : the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system

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More from Merriam-Webster on resonance

Spanish Central: Translation of resonance

Nglish: Translation of resonance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resonance for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about resonance

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