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

What’s more, the global trading system has shown some surprising resilience. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "The Catch-22 of Globalization," 21 Jan. 2019 Ollivier demonstrates strength and resilience, though ultimately, her character is more of a prop to create tension for others in some extraordinarily tired and regressive ways, rather than someone with her own agency and destiny. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Overlord is a gloriously entertaining piece of B-movie schlock," 9 Nov. 2018 Even on Earth, life is remarkably diverse and has shown incredible resilience in extraordinarily hostile environments. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Exoplanet Has a Stable Axis Just Like Earth," 29 June 2018 Your sense of self, your strength and resilience — no one can take these away from you. Anna Pulley, RedEye Chicago, "Ask Anna: I'm bisexual. Can I be in a heterosexual relationship without losing myself?," 26 Mar. 2018 Regardless of how survivors improve their homes’ fire resilience in rebuilding, insurers may decide to hike prices, or simply pull their policies, based on their own stomach for the California market and proprietary risk models. Susie Cagle, Curbed, "California’s changing fire country," 10 Oct. 2018 She's proven it hundreds of times over on live television, online, and everywhere else that the paparazzi follow, and this month, she's demonstrated how deeply her resilience runs. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Calls Out Trolls For Deleting Their Comments About Baby True," 28 Sep. 2018 Your resilience will pay off, Capricorn darling, so be sure to take advantage of this auspicious transit. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 Struggling through this situation has tested the community: its patience, its resilience, its resourcefulness. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Philly.com, "To save the world, first they must save a building in West Philly," 12 July 2018

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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Last Updated

8 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for resilience

The first known use of resilience was in 1807

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on resilience

Spanish Central: Translation of resilience

Nglish: Translation of resilience for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resilience for Arabic Speakers

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