resonance

noun
res·o·nance | \ ˈre-zə-nən(t)s , 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

b : magnetic resonance

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

So the first lady's wardrobe is well positioned to tell a story about the global nature of fashion, its ability to speak to cultural and social shifts, the heft of its emotional resonance. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 Present-day resonance, alas, proves as distant as persuasive history in this timid, well-meaning and ultimately futile movie. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Jessica Chastain plays the artist who painted Sitting Bull in the inert history lesson 'Woman Walks Ahead'," 28 June 2018 His release would have a positive worldwide resonance, and attest to the genuine authenticity of reforms to this global audience. Brandon Silver And Evelyne Abitbol, Time, "One Way Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman Can Prove He Is Sincere About His Reforms: Free Raif Badawi," 5 Apr. 2018 That this year’s festival fell on the 100th anniversary of the nation’s founding has given more resonance to what is already a deeply emotional event. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Trump Derides NATO as ‘Obsolete.’ Baltic Nations See It Much Differently.," 10 July 2018 That's tricky, because the resonance frequency of most resonators changes with temperature. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "NASA’s EM-drive is a magnetic WTF-thruster," 21 May 2018 On the lower end of the voice range, Jonathan Woody as Charon and Mischa Bouvier as Pluto were especially noteworthy, their rich bass-baritones adding depth and resonance to their roles. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, "Apollo's Fire ascends with affecting production of 'L'Orfeo' (review)," 16 Apr. 2018 That profound resonance will surely be of use when performing the new piece by Glass, whose music is often profoundly meditative. John Adamian, courant.com, "Philip Glass Premieres 'Annunciation' At Asylum Hill," 14 Apr. 2018 Look more closely, however, and the real resonances of this bygone society, and its true warning signs, start to appear. The Economist, "The real resonances, and warnings, of Weimar Germany," 8 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for resonance

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for resonance

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

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More Definitions for resonance

resonance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of resonance

: the quality of a sound that stays loud, clear, and deep for a long time

: a quality that makes something personally meaningful or important to someone

: 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 \

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 \

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

b : magnetic resonance — see electron spin resonance

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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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