res·​o·​nate | \ ˈre-zə-ˌnāt How to pronounce resonate (audio) \
resonated; resonating

Definition of resonate

intransitive verb

1 : to produce or exhibit resonance
2 : to respond as if by resonance resonate to the music also : to have a repetitive pattern that resembles resonance
3 : to relate harmoniously : strike a chord a message that resonates with voters

transitive verb

: to subject to resonating

Keep scrolling for more

Resonate vs. Reverberate

Resonate and reverberate each have at least one meaning that is concerned with sound, and they carry a degree of overlap in their definitions. However, there are some subtle differences between them that are worth observing. Resonate typically suggests that a single lasting sound is produced; reverberate, on the other hand, indicates that an initial sound is followed by a series of echoes. In terms of the contexts in which they are used, resonate often involves a person (“that passage of the book resonated with many young readers”); reverberate, on the other hand, is more likely to be used of a thing, such as the aftermath of some major event (“the shock caused by the assassination reverberated across Europe”).

Examples of resonate in a Sentence

The siren resonated throughout the city. the deep sounds of the bassoon resonated through the concert hall
Recent Examples on the Web The message resonated with both ends of Afghan society. Susannah George, Washington Post, "Afghanistan claims the Islamic State was ‘obliterated.’ But fighters who got away could stage a resurgence.," 9 Feb. 2020 That speech and the Oscar nomination that followed helped boost the film, whose scalding take on wealth disparity resonated with American viewers. John Jurgensen And Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "What Five Oscar Nominations Tell Us About the State of Hollywood," 5 Feb. 2020 In an interview in mid-January, Taylor would not confirm the scope of his involvement but said Ghosn's legal case resonated with him because of his previous experiences with the US judicial system, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN, "Wanted: 3 men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape Japan in a case," 30 Jan. 2020 Fry wasn’t like other coaches, and the difference resonated with Christie. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Malcolm Christie is one of Hayden Fry’s greatest success stories — a success that goes beyond the gridiron," 25 Jan. 2020 Spread by bots and trolls on social media, and by Russian intelligence officers, the claims resonated with Mr. Trump, who views talk of Russian interference as an attack on his legitimacy. New York Times, "Russians Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Center of Impeachment," 13 Jan. 2020 Her music resonated with both New Mexico music and Tejano audiences, with crossover success in both fields, but music outlets in the broader industry did not fully grasp the extent of her successful career within New Mexico music. Mario J. Lucero, Quartz, "Music streaming services mishandle our data—and our culture is paying for it," 3 Jan. 2020 The first movie resonated with audiences and critics alike and Blunt was later awarded the best supporting actress honor at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Alexia Fernandez,, "Emily Blunt Is Back in A Quiet Place: Part II First Look: Watch the Terrifying New Teaser," 18 Dec. 2019 But the farmers’ objections resonated with Compart, a hog farmer who once had his own farm quarantined for more than two years following suspicion of an outbreak of a disease that affects pigs. Dave Orrick, Twin Cities, "Regulators to deer farmers: Stop moving deer around (please)," 16 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resonate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of resonate

1873, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about resonate

Time Traveler for resonate

Time Traveler

The first known use of resonate was in 1873

See more words from the same year

Statistics for resonate

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for resonate


How to pronounce resonate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of resonate

: to continue to produce a loud, clear, deep sound for a long time
: to have particular meaning or importance for someone : to affect or appeal to someone in a personal or emotional way

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on resonate

What made you want to look up resonate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!