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 The best of it comes from Alpine regions, where cold weather slows tree growth, creating the tight grain that maximizes resonance. Chuck Squatriglia, Popular Science, "Inside the extraordinary experiment to save the Stradivarius sound," 10 Jan. 2020 In my own experience moving through activist circles in the years since the SayHerName campaign began, the names of women like Anderson, Bland, and McKenna have growing resonance. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "Naming the Threat," 2 Jan. 2020 Something about cycles and resonances and the value of life. Wired Staff, Wired, "The 24 Absolute Best Movies of the 2010s," 26 Dec. 2019 The film’s historical weight, straightforward narrative and modern-day resonance give the director a courage of conviction absent from his last few efforts. The Economist, "A natural fit The moral power of “A Hidden Life”," 13 Dec. 2019 The stress and pressure of school, combined with concerns about my worthiness, put me in a state that made achieving resonance much more difficult. John Warner, chicagotribune.com, "Don’t read the ‘best’ books; read the ones that resonate for you," 26 Nov. 2019 At one point, Philippe likens the concept to cymatics, in which plates or membranes vibrate in resonance with sound waves to produce patterns on their surface that reflect the substrate's modal vibrations. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Alien’s origin story chestbursts anew in stirring new documentary," 11 Oct. 2019 Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior (2012), for example, creates emotional resonance with the reader through a novel about the effects of global warming on the monarch butterflies, set amid familiar family tensions. Bernadette Mcbride, Quartzy, "Climate fiction is imagining a future beyond the climate crisis," 11 Oct. 2019 Amid the many words spoken—some passionate, some false, some bitter—in the late-night session of the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, one line, in a speech by Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, had particular resonance. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Impeachment Timeline and the 2020 Election," 15 Dec. 2019

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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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

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonances. Accessed 28 January 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

Comments on resonance

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