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
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

Necks should upbow ever so slightly to produce resonance. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Set Up a Guitar And Make It Your Own," 7 Dec. 2018 Publicity for the show plays up the feminist angle — Antigone as a woman challenging the patriarchy — and the Afropunk inspiration of the staging, but in performance these are not the resonances that stand out. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Review: ‘Antigone’ Asserts Whose Lives Matter, With Modern Relevance," 9 July 2018 As Rincon reports, the planets orbit in what is called a resonance chain. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Citizen Scientists Discover an Unusual Five-Planet Solar System," 15 Jan. 2018 That military dimension, and the bond between Europe and the United States, has a special resonance in nations like Poland and the Baltic states, which had long been under the thumb of Moscow before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "EU, US relations sinking further after divisive Trump tour," 17 July 2018 The spacecraft will revolve around the Earth every two weeks, in a 2:1 resonance with our planet’s natural satellite; for every orbit the moon makes, the spacecraft will complete two. Amy Thompson, WIRED, "Watch SpaceX Loft NASA’s New Planet-Hunting Mission Into Orbit," 16 Apr. 2018 Moreover, the new campaign among first-generation students at elite colleges may have special resonance among the general public. Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Atlantic, "A New Call to End Legacy Admissions," 14 Feb. 2018 Semi-indigestible by design, this nonetheless steadily builds in political and historical resonance. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / History / On Video / Politics Five must-see lo-o-o-ong films," 9 Feb. 2018 The refinement and resonance comes on with the power. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Genesis G70: A Hyundai Spinoff You Can Proudly Drive," 12 Dec. 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

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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 \

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

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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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