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 Such a shift is fitting for a film that expands and evolves, revealing itself gradually, its resonance not fully felt until the closing credits roll. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I Carry You With Me': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 Yet a rivalry loses some of its resonance when one side dominates as Kentucky has under Calipari (10-2 vs. U of L), particularly after the individual who elicits the strongest reaction leaves the scene. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "For better or worse, the Kentucky-Louisville basketball rivalry is growing more civilized," 28 Dec. 2019 The show, which has been airing since 2015, has managed to deepen its emotional resonance as the characters grow and change. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now," 20 Dec. 2019 Unfortunately, the over-emphasis on bringing out the play’s humor drains it of some of its emotional resonance. EW.com, "Marisa Tomei gives her all to an unsatisfying revival of The Rose Tattoo," 16 Oct. 2019 One of the most compelling themes that has emerged around The Matrix since the film’s release two decades ago is its resonance as a metaphor for trans identity, given that both of its creators have since transitioned. Aja Romano, Vox, "The Matrix 4 is happening. Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss, and Lana Wachowski will all return.," 20 Aug. 2019 Robbie has few lines, but her resonance carries a lasting, eerie enchantment. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "How Sharon Tate transfixed Hollywood, 50 years before ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’," 26 July 2019 The shift back to the camp at the end happens in a vexingly hackneyed way that robs what came before of some of its resonance. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Macbeth’ in SF gets stunning update, with mixed results," 19 July 2019 Why would Bearden’s work have such resonance with Lewis’s journey? Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, The New York Review of Books, "Romare Bearden: Assembling America," 28 Jan. 2020

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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonance. Accessed 26 Feb. 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

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