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 This historical novel has added resonance today as the prospect of a new Cold War becomes plausible. James Mcelroy, Washington Examiner, "A Chinese guide to our cultural revolution," 31 Dec. 2020 The fact that Tiller, Val and Victor must mostly remain housebound for their protection gives this novel Covid-19-era resonance. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Chang-rae Lee’s Latest Is Fueled by Harrowing Travel, Witness Protection and Food, Food and More Food," 1 Feb. 2021 The characters filter their identities through screens, and this filtration allows for no depth, no emotional resonance. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Two Paths for the Extremely Online Novel," 1 Feb. 2021 In the year since the death of Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, the video has taken on more personal resonance beyond just the sight of seeing a five-time champion on the cusp of stardom. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Remembering Kobe: The 1996 pre-draft workout nobody believed," 25 Jan. 2021 Evans’s closing novella, also on the theme of grief, takes on additional resonance since the Jan. 6 mob attack at the U.S. Capitol. Washington Post, "The Office of Historical Corrections," 15 Jan. 2021 His signature issue, universal basic income, has growing political resonance as millions of Americans face unemployment, and the government cuts stimulus checks. New York Times, "Can Andrew Yang Make It in New York City Politics?," 11 Jan. 2021 The protests have found resonance on the country’s far right. New York Times, "Coronavirus Dominates Merkel’s Last New Year’s Speech as Chancellor," 31 Dec. 2020 But with communist Cuba 90 miles away, socialism had a special resonance. Fred Barnes, Washington Examiner, "Dire predictions about the Republican Party were wrong, again," 12 Nov. 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

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonance. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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 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

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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