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

Level 1: Gamify The power of gamification resonates with James Tanaka, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Victoria in Canada. Sarah Deweerdt, Science | AAAS, "Can science-based video games help kids with autism?," 22 June 2018 That's a theme that should resonate with this gathering, said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Donald Trump or Beto O'Rourke: Who will motivate Texas Democrats more?," 18 June 2018 The issue of the play resonates not only with Weitzman, who is Jewish and has a non-Jewish wife but also with Garle, who is Christian and is engaged to a Jew. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Play takes a lighter look at the bris ceremony," 14 June 2018 Expect Republicans to stick to their talking points on bureaucratic red tape and pocketbook issues that tend to resonate with voters. Neil Vigdor,, "Five Key Takeaways From The First GOP Gubernatorial Primary Debate," 12 June 2018 The threat of secondary sanctions resonates most in Europe. The Economist, "American sanctions will make it hard to revive the Iranian nuclear deal," 12 May 2018 Baez may be able to find a theme that resonates with jurors rather than delving into the details of complex bond transactions, Henning said. Chris Dolmetsch,, "Bond Trader Turns to Lawyer Who Made a Name in Murder Cases," 1 May 2018 That pitch has resonated with a good chunk of people in recent years, and Boosted has grown into something of the name brand in the electric skateboard market. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "New Boosted Boards have more affordable shortboard and better batteries," 17 Apr. 2018 Single-girl stories are resonating with young women who are struggling with a question that never seemed to plague the Mary Tyler Moores of the world. Veronica Chambers, Newsweek, "'Sex and the City': Our 1999 Feature on the Show Starring Cynthia Nixon and Sarah Jessica Parker," 21 Mar. 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

20 Nov 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

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by force of circumstances

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