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

Not sympathy—not looking in on the lives of others with pity or condescension; but empathy—finding resonance in the feelings of others in a meaningful, experiential, even transformative way. Thomas Harlander, Los Angeles Magazine, "Eddie Huang’s Immigrant-Focused Food Show Can’t Come Soon Enough," 20 June 2018 But the resonances are inescapable, and his book is important reading not only for those interested in China’s history but also for anyone seeking to understand the explosive intersection between trade and politics today. Julian Gewirtz, WSJ, "‘Imperial Twilight’ Review: An Explosive Mix of Trade and Politics," 17 May 2018 Half-shaft resonances are audible during acceleration (which engineers say will be squelched when the final version hits the market in December 2011), but the motor's thrust enabled us to jockey for position during L.A. rush hour. Basem Wasef, Popular Mechanics, "2012 Coda Sedan Test Drive," 30 Sep. 2011 As one of those most intimately associated with Frankenthaler’s time in Provincetown, Lise, a retired psychologist, reflects on the artist’s experiences there and the emotional resonance of returning her work to the place it was made. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "Growing Up With Helen Frankenthaler on Cape Cod," 30 May 2018 And that mythic dimension was well-served by the choreography, largely abstract but also acutely attuned to the resonances of text and music. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "At Emmanuel, lifting a classic story onto the plane of myth," 28 Apr. 2018 Some of the resonance was purposeful, but most is not. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Jake Tapper's new book agrees with Donald Trump on this: 'The swamp exists'," 26 Apr. 2018 Compression Shorts Itch lacks the same resonance, while retaining the same irritability. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Who's more obnoxious than Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson? -- Bill Livingston (photos)," 23 Apr. 2018 The resonance of Kushner’s masterpiece in 2018 goes deeper than Reagan-Trump parallels. Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Angels,’ a once-prescient masterpiece, returns to its Bay Area birthplace," 15 Apr. 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

7 Oct 2018

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

: 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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