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

If countries fail to prioritize resilience and shorter-term disasters, the consequences could be dire. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "One Climate Crisis Disaster Occurs Every Week, U.N. Official Warns," 8 July 2019 In an ideal world, Green’s dream is about self-resilience and a desire for interdependence for communities of color. Cheryl Morrow, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Olivia Green," 8 July 2019 This is comedy grounded in real life - in loss, disappointment and ultimately, resilience and hope. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "‘Savannah Sipping Society’ A Performance To Savor," 17 June 2019 Mauricio’s story, like so many Baltimore students who are graduating this month, is one of resilience and perseverance. Washington Post, "‘The American Dream — except it’s real’: Student who immigrated from Mexico heads to Ivy League," 13 June 2019 From a slave castle on the Gold Coast to Nelson Mandela’s island prison, explore difficult chapters in the continent’s history—and hear inspiring stories of resilience and innovation. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 Crisis management professionals, Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell and Dr. George Everly, will be leading workshops focused on subjects such as suicide prevention and psychological resilience. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Traumatic stress training event for first responders coming to Spring," 25 June 2019 That said, many of the strategies in the National Academies report involve using biodiversity – both at the genetic and species level – to enhance coral reef resilience. Cody Clements, The Conversation, "Biodiversity helps coral reefs thrive – and could be part of strategies to save them," 25 June 2019 Jay Spencer, Jarrett's counterpart who is today named the Huntsville Boys Athlete of the Year, matched Jarrett's versatility and resilience. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al.com, "Meet the 2019 Huntsville HS Athletes of the Year," 21 June 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

12 Jul 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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Comments on resilience

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