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 goal of the Lower Yukon School District’s Natural Helpers program, according to Sarah Peterson of Mountain Village, is to build resilience and learn to cope with everyday problems using Yup’ik cultural values and activities. Anchorage Daily News, "Around Alaska, there’s a new approach to suicide prevention: Think locally," 17 Sep. 2019 Congress must act swiftly to fund programs that help build resilience in our electoral system. Ray Rothrock, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Cyber attacks threaten security of 2020 election," 15 Sep. 2019 Brando's own research focuses on the resilience of the Amazon forests to both drought and human development. Eric Niiler, WIRED, "Humans, More Than Drought, Are Fueling the Amazon's Flames," 22 Aug. 2019 That kind of learning builds resilience, both economic and emotional, that can prepare his workforce for whatever comes next. Fortune, "Walmart CEO: ‘You’ve Got to Be Able to Manage Change’," 19 Aug. 2019 Some of the smaller vulnerable countries have been attempting to build climate resilience by pooling insurance risk to make premiums more affordable. The Economist, "Countries most exposed to climate change face higher costs of capital," 15 Aug. 2019 Building cyber resilience is another priority area within digital, according to the report. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Indian CEOs are far less optimistic about the global economy this year," 11 July 2019 Brussels is also counting on the resilience of global trade rules that have emerged and been settled on over decades. Emre Peker, WSJ, "EU Sees Itself Holding the Line in Response to U.S. Metals Tariff," 28 June 2018 In addition, Buttigieg would incentivize private companies to work with state and local governments on resilience planning. Priscilla Thompson, NBC News, "Pete Buttigieg to unveil disaster relief plan in South Carolina," 17 Sep. 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

18 Oct 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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