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

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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 Last month, Starbucks shared during its biennial Investor Day that cold beverages featuring non-dairy milk continue to resonate with customers and said millennials and Gen-Z-ers under 30 are two times more likely to drink cold coffee. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Starbucks releases winter menu with new Pistachio Latte, Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew, Red Velvet Loaf and more," 5 Jan. 2021 But Fei’s professional position cannot explain why his novel would resonate so strongly with the Chinese people. James Mcelroy, Washington Examiner, "A Chinese guide to our cultural revolution," 31 Dec. 2020 But thanks to Wilson and Davis, Rainey’s spirit and sorrows will continue to resonate. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Ma Rainey’ a triumph for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman," 17 Dec. 2020 The Sesame executives wanted to hear directly from the children themselves on what kinds of Muppets would resonate with them. NBC News, "Sesame Street unveils Rohingya Muppets to help kids overcome 'unthinkable horrors'," 17 Dec. 2020 Researchers in the Navajo Nation anticipate that directives about the shots will have to be reworded to resonate with Native people. Anchorage Daily News, "Now that there’s a coronavirus vaccine, how do you persuade people to take it?," 11 Dec. 2020 So what makes O’Meara’s poem resonate with so many across the world? Megan Gambino, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Ten Best Children’s Books of 2020," 7 Dec. 2020 For a card to resonate with this cohort, the voices must be not only genuine but also genuinely inclusive. Maria Ricapito, Marie Claire, "Season’s (and Other...) Greetings," 7 Dec. 2020 The workout appears to resonate with many viewers, who have posted on social media about adding the workout to their routines. Washington Post, "This social media personality is popularizing a treadmill workout she invented. But is it healthy?," 7 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for resonate

Time Traveler

The first known use of resonate was in 1873

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Statistics for resonate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resonate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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

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