resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈre-zə-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio) , ˈrez-nən(t)s \

Definition of resonance

1a : the quality or state of being resonant
b(1) : a vibration of large amplitude in a mechanical or electrical system caused by a relatively small periodic stimulus of the same or nearly the same period as the natural vibration period of the system
(2) : the state of adjustment that produces resonance in a mechanical or electrical system
2a : the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration
b : a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (such as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
c : a quality of richness or variety
d : a quality of evoking response how much resonance the scandal seems to be havingU.S. News & World Report
3 : the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
4 : the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (such as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
5a : the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system
6 : an extremely short-lived elementary particle
7 : a synchronous gravitational relationship of two celestial bodies (such as moons) that orbit a third (such as a planet) which can be expressed as a simple ratio of their orbital periods

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Resonance Uses Beyond Sound

Many of the finest musical instruments possess a high degree of resonance which, by producing additional vibrations and echoes of the original sound, enriches and amplifies it. Violins made by the Italian masters Stradivari and Guarneri possess a quality of resonance that later violinmakers have never precisely duplicated. And you may have noticed how a particular note will start something in a room buzzing, as one of the touching surfaces begins to resonate with the note. Because of that, resonance and resonate—along with the adjective resonant—aren't always used to describe sound. For example, you may say that a novel resonates strongly with you because the author seems to be describing your own experiences and feelings.

Examples of resonance in a Sentence

the resonance of the singer's voice His story didn't have much resonance with the audience.
Recent Examples on the Web Amid the many words spoken—some passionate, some false, some bitter—in the late-night session of the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, one line, in a speech by Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, had particular resonance. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Impeachment Timeline and the 2020 Election," 15 Dec. 2019 After a decade of soaring stock prices, this has some resonance with the public. The Economist, "Inequality could be lower than you think," 28 Nov. 2019 Their tale has an eerie resonance at a time when Russian intelligence agencies are again at the center of American life. New York Times, "Historians Find Another Spy in the U.S. Atomic Bomb Project," 23 Nov. 2019 And the issue may have even more resonance with Democrats after President Donald Trump's weakening of the Endangered Species Act, the law that brought the bald eagle, the humpback whale and the grizzly bear back from the brink of extinction. Reis Thebault, chicagotribune.com, "Julián Castro introduces animal welfare plan," 27 Aug. 2019 Anything that has an emotional resonance with you as a child tends stay with you throughout your life. Scott Huver, CNN, "The Russo brothers on the past obsessions that fuel their filmmaking future," 21 July 2019 The experience of watching the whole show has resonance that doesn’t have to be linear or literal or explained to you. Greg Braxton, latimes.com, "'Legion's' Noah Hawley wants to build you more than an emotional roller coaster," 24 June 2019 IIt's exciting that a story like that can have such resonance with people. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Wild Rose Star Jessie Buckley Is About To Take Over Your Screen — & Your Headphones," 20 June 2019 Madonna has struggled the past decade — with identity politics, social media stunts (remember the rollout of Rebel Heart?) and simply making music that has any resonance with contemporary audiences. Jonny Coleman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Madonna's Cringe-Worthy 'Madame X'," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resonance.' 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 resonance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for resonance

Middle English resonaunce, from Middle French resonance, from resoner to resound — more at resound

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Learn More about resonance

Time Traveler for resonance

Time Traveler

The first known use of resonance was in the 15th century

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Statistics for resonance

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonance. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for resonance

resonance

noun
How to pronounce resonance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of resonance

formal : the quality of a sound that stays loud, clear, and deep for a long time
formal : a quality that makes something personally meaningful or important to someone
technical : a sound or vibration produced in one object that is caused by the sound or vibration produced in another

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈre-zə-nəns How to pronounce resonance (audio) \

Kids Definition of resonance

: a long loud, clear, and deep quality of sound

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance | \ ˈrez-ᵊn-ən(t)s, ˈrez-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio) \

Medical Definition of resonance

1 : a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
2 : the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
3 : the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
4a : the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system

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More from Merriam-Webster on resonance

Spanish Central: Translation of resonance

Nglish: Translation of resonance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resonance for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about resonance

Comments on resonance

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