resonance

noun

res·​o·​nance ˈre-zə-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio)
ˈrez-nən(t)s
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
5
a
: 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 Still, there’s much here to appreciate, not least of which is the admirable attempt to simultaneously provide belly laughs for children and emotional resonance for adults. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2024 On set, the star was adorned with her director’s own clothes, wearing jewelry with enough resonance to Fillières that the filmmaker would ask for them when production wrapped for the day. Ben Croll, Variety, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for resonance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resonance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near resonance

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonance. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance ˈrez-ᵊn-ən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio)
-nən(t)s
1
: the quality or state of being resonant
2
: a reinforcement of sound (as a musical tone) in a vibrating body or system caused by waves from another body vibrating at nearly the same rate
3
: a vibrating quality of a voice sound

Medical Definition

resonance

noun
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
4
a
: the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system

More from Merriam-Webster on resonance

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