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

Football is one place where people look for examples of resilience in spite of great pain. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Pain and Resentment and the Inspiring Retirement of Andrew Luck," 27 Aug. 2019 My father said a part of resilience isn't all just bullet-biting, muscle-flexing, and strength. Scott Huver, CNN, "George Takei's real-life internment formed the foundation of 'The Terror: Infamy'," 12 Aug. 2019 The skies over the capital were darkened yesterday by the smoke issuing from the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a marvel of Gothic architecture, and a phoenix-like symbol of resilience. Jay Mcinerney, Vogue, "Why, Oh Why Do I Love Paris? Jay McInerney Counted the Ways in a 1986 Story for Vogue, Republished Here in Solidarity With the French Capital, Where Notre-Dame Burned," 16 Apr. 2019 The city’s leaders may talk about multimodal transportation, resilience, and cutting climate emissions. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Houston’s $7 billion solution to gridlock is more highways," 5 Aug. 2019 Nearly complete isolation will test Guzman’s resilience, if not his sanity, Kupers said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s Supermax prison now occupied by El Chapo is “worse than death,” ex-warden said," 27 July 2019 So proud of entire team - producers, cast, & crew - who work tirelessly to tell this story of family, resilience, inclusion, and love!! Kirsten Spruch, Billboard, "Nominated Celebrities React to 2019 Emmy Nominations," 16 July 2019 But the problem-solving, which relies on grit, determination and resilience, remains the same. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The women of NASA are looking to the lunar horizon," 11 July 2019 The Cleveland story continues to be one of resilience, pride, and determination. Phillip Morris, cleveland.com, "All-Star Game gives nation a new look at Cleveland’s grit, relevance: Phillip Morris," 7 July 2019

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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Statistics for resilience

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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