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

Robert Duvall is Jack’s decrepit pol father, Tom Mulligan, living proof that an empty shell can still resonate with wild anger. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Widows’ Review: Mourning Loss, Seizing Power," 14 Nov. 2018 And that resonates especially well in 2018, a year in which women’s roles in the film industry have been the source of conversation and activism. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 11 best documentaries of 2018," 5 Dec. 2018 The group's holistic approach to helping struggling people level-up in life has resonated with thousands of fans all over the world., "Queer Eye Season 3 Will Tackle A Whole New Part Of America," 13 July 2018 The fact that his character gets more fun than that is a tribute to the outside-the-box thinking of the writers, who are good for one moment memorable enough to instantly resonate on social media, in each episode. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "HBO’s ‘Succession’ is a cruel catharsis, and perfect for our swampy time," 1 June 2018 Supporting school families The issue resonates in Fort Worth schools, which is majority Hispanic and includes immigrants and refugees from many countries. Diane Smith And Hanaa’ Tameez, star-telegram, "Fort Worth trustee to DeVos: 'We educate our kids, we don't report them' | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 May 2018 The issue resonates especially in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Nevada — states with large Hispanic populations, Sahil Kapur writes. Kathleen Hunter,, "Dreamer Deadlock Energizes Democrats' Midterm Bid," 2 Apr. 2018 The song resonates with people because of its simple melody and straightforward message, said Elisabeth Frontull, a member of the Kroll group. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "200 years of ‘Silent Night’: Singers mark carol’s birthday," 28 Nov. 2018 Her words hit home for many of the women and girls in the audience, and likely resonate for others, as well. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Why Shonda Rhimes Doesn't Believe in Imposter Syndrome," 16 Oct. 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

16 Jan 2019

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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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