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 Now Greta Gerwig’s excellent new film adaptation of Little Women has served up a a third, entirely legitimate reason to be anti-Bhaer, one that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dealt with a harsh teacher or a confusing performance review. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Want to give good feedback? Do the opposite of professor Bhaer in “Little Women”," 10 Jan. 2020 There is skepticism about whether such a radical, transformative agenda will resonate with voters enough to win the 2019 election. Daniel Fitzpatrick, Quartz, "Labour’s manifesto could transform British politics—even if it doesn’t win the election," 26 Nov. 2019 How these protests end — whether in disaster or compromise — will resonate far beyond Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people. Trudy Rubin, Twin Cities, "Trudy Rubin: Hong Kong crisis has become a crucial test of future US-China relations," 24 Nov. 2019 But will this message resonate enough with voters to give the candidate a needed boost? Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: What to look for at Wednesday's Democratic debate," 18 Nov. 2019 The pair, who'd previously worked together on It Comes at Night, merged their life experiences to unlock the narrative rhythms of Waves, resulting in a deeply personal piece Shults nevertheless hopes will resonate universally. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘Waves’ Director Trey Edward Shults on Crafting His Sensory, Soul-Bearing Family Saga," 15 Nov. 2019 His words will resonate across a region where America’s commitment has long seemed tied more to energy than political values. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil," 30 Oct. 2019 The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids. Justin Kroll,, "Barney the Dinosaur movie in the works from Mattel Films and Daniel Kaluuya," 19 Oct. 2019 Perhaps an image, a moment or a cursory word that somehow will resonate further afield, and speaks to the couple somehow. Max Foster, CNN, "8 things to look out for during Harry and Meghan's Africa tour," 23 Sep. 2019

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

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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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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 insert between existing elements

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