resilience

noun
re·​sil·​ience | \ ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s How to pronounce resilience (audio) \

Definition of resilience

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

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Using Resilience Outside of Physics

In physics, resilience is the ability of an elastic material (such as rubber or animal tissue) to absorb energy (such as from a blow) and release that energy as it springs back to its original shape. The recovery that occurs in this phenomenon can be viewed as analogous to a person's ability to bounce back after a jarring setback. Author P. G. Wodehouse took note of this when he wrote: "There is in certain men … a quality of resilience, a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat, which aids them as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind." The word resilience derives from the present participle of the Latin verb resilire, meaning "to jump back" or "to recoil." The base of resilire is salire, a verb meaning "to leap" that also pops up in the etymologies of such sprightly words as sally and somersault.

Examples of resilience in a Sentence

… the concert remained a remarkable tribute to Dylan's resilience and continued relevance. — Susan Richardson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994 He squeezed the rubber with a clamp and then released it—demonstrating with this painfully simple experiment that the material lost its resilience and therefore its ability to flex rapidly enough to protect the rocket joint from tumultuous hot gases. — James Gleick, New York Times Book Review, 13 Nov. 1988 With amazing resilience the two tribes pulled together and set out to found a new town farther up the river. — Carolyn Gilman, American Indian Art Magazine, Spring 1988 It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment. — Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897 The rescue workers showed remarkable resilience in dealing with the difficult conditions. Cold temperatures caused the material to lose resilience.
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Recent Examples on the Web The gospel of resilience was very much on her mind. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 The real test of resilience happens when the curtains close. Mekita Rivas, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 June 2021 Instead, design more linear models of communication, and transition your managers from compliance drivers into competent facilitators of change so as to influence team engagement and mitigate the negative effects of resilience. Loubna Noureddin, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Now as a teacher and coach, Partida's story of resilience helps inspire others. Jean Song, CBS News, 28 May 2021 Seattle's LGBTQ Pride celebration will kick off virtually on June 26 and 27 under the theme of resilience. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 27 May 2021 In the end, if the obvious hazards do not take our lives, this fundamental loss of resilience will do so, the researchers conclude in findings published on May 25 in Nature Communications. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, 25 May 2021 The Lightning is a technology of resilience, of climate adaptation. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 20 May 2021 After all, this was the woman who hosted the Emmys soon after the 9/11 attacks in a way that turned the show into both an outlet for collective grief and a celebration of resilience. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resilience.' 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 resilience

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for resilience

see resilient

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Time Traveler for resilience

Time Traveler

The first known use of resilience was in 1807

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Statistics for resilience

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resilience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilience. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for resilience

resilience

noun

English Language Learners Definition of resilience

: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
: the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.

resilience

noun
re·​sil·​ience | \ ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s How to pronounce resilience (audio) \

Medical Definition of resilience

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change emotional resilience

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