res·o·nate | \ ˈre-zə-ˌnāt \
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

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Synonyms for resonate


echo, reecho, resound, reverberate, sound

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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

Tue 7/3: Luke Winslow-King has left New Orleans for his native Michigan, but the sound of the Crescent City still resonates in his music. Tyra Nicole Triche, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This Fireworks, High Fidelity in the park, and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week," 2 July 2018 Divides between Cantor and his supporters, and Brat and the tea partyers still resonate four years later. Washington Post, "With Corey Stewart atop the ticket, Virginia Republicans are in turmoil," 2 July 2018 Greatest or not, Secretariat’s iconic win in the 1973 Belmont Stakes to secure the ninth Triple Crown in the sport’s history is one that still resonates decades later. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Rewatch Secretariat's iconic Belmont run before Justify takes his shot," 9 June 2018 What's more interesting now is what still resonates, not what doesn't. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "20 years later, 'Sex and the City' has aged badly (except for one key episode)," 5 June 2018 The distance between those two points is what Atlanta mines, and what resonates most powerfully. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Donald Glover, Atlanta, and the Ties That Bind," 11 May 2018 But while stories may resonate with kids and even inspire them to share their own struggles, experts say there's little research showing testimonials, on their own, help students stay drug-free in the long run. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Do those real-life addiction stories really keep kids off drugs?," 12 July 2018 His pop-culture fame helped that message resonate beyond the foreign-policy establishment. Washington Post, "How the Kremlin turned the Russian president into a global icon," 12 July 2018 But Wilson says the Goliad flag still resonates with him. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns," 10 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of resonate

1873, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for resonate

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for resonate

The first known use of resonate was in 1873

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More Definitions for resonate



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

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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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