resilience

noun
re·​sil·​ience | \ ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s \

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 need for local resilience in the face climate chaos is growing all the time. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 Both systems have fingerprint readers and can include IR webcams for biometric authentications, and both use multiple storage units, enabling RAID 0 (for performance) and RAID 1 (for resilience) configurations. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Lenovo’s new P1 workstation packs Xeon, 64GB ECC RAM, 4TB SSD into 0.7 inches," 13 Aug. 2018 Neither team has the capability to play the other team off the pitch with free flowing football and have each so far relied on tactical resilience to deservedly get themselves to this point in the tournament. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: Sweden vs Switzerland - Recent Form, Team News, Predictions & More," 2 July 2018 Bruno is skeptical that MPAs can offer climate change resilience. National Geographic, "Marine Protected Areas Are Important. But Are They Working?," 16 June 2018 After 33 years at the USGS, Jones retired and opened the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, which aims to boost community resilience using science. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "The hardest part of preparing for disasters is overcoming human nature," 26 May 2018 The winning rally was not the first sign of resilience from the Yankees batters on Thursday. New York Times, "A Potential Pitching Showcase Melts Into a Rugged Yankees Win," 12 July 2018 But Croatia, its population just 4.1 million, is in the final after another performance of extraordinary resilience. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Croatia's Character, Resiliency on Full Display in Shocking Run to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 What’s left doesn’t give Chastain a whole lot to play aside from good manners, sharp comebacks and the kind of flinty resilience that has become the actress’ stock-in-trade. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Jessica Chastain plays the artist who painted Sitting Bull in the inert history lesson 'Woman Walks Ahead'," 28 June 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

11 Jan 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 \

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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