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

Synonyms for resonate


Visit the Thesaurus 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 In response, a state commission banned the open carrying of weapons inside the Capitol, though the message hasn't seemed to resonate with Lackomar's group. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "States beef up security at capitol complexes ahead of Biden inauguration," 15 Jan. 2021 Small Business Saturday, which had particular importance this year amid the pandemic's impact on independent stores, also seemed to resonate with consumers. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Cyber Monday was biggest online shopping day in U.S. history," 1 Dec. 2020 Chopra Jonas believes those themes will resonate with audiences. Priya Rao, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Pulls Back the Curtain," 25 Jan. 2021 As Trump's term—and his Twitter feed—come to a close, these are the abysmal cybersecurity assertions and quotes that will resonate for years to come. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Trump’s Worst, Most Bizarre Statements About ‘the Cyber’," 18 Jan. 2021 While restaurant wine sales took a hit that will resonate for years, sales overall benefited from the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on lower-income wage earners. Washington Post, "Wine sales will keep rising after the pandemic, a new report predicts — but maybe not for long," 15 Jan. 2021 Face masks, their very names far from frequent, took on a cultural (and political) significance that will resonate far into 2021, if not beyond. Gideon Grudo, NBC News, "Shopping in 2020: What we bought during the pandemic," 31 Dec. 2020 Twelve people were killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and four more in the supermarket attack, marking a dark and violent chapter in the city's history that has continued to resonate. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 17: Covid-19, White House, Big Tech, pollution, France," 17 Dec. 2020 This is a story of determination and resilience that will resonate even with those not fascinated by food and wine. New York Times, "6 Books for Thinking, Drinking and Changing the World," 25 Nov. 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.

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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resonate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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