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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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

Earlier Thursday, Trump sent a stream of Twitter messages lashing out at social media companies and the press, familiar targets that resonate with his conservative base. Washington Post, "Trump accuses big tech of bias against conservative voices," 11 July 2019 Earlier Thursday, Trump sent a stream of Twitter messages lashing out at social media companies and the press, familiar targets that resonate with his conservative base. Marcy Gordon,, "Trump complains of social media bias, then praises far-right conservatives for using the platforms well," 11 July 2019 The eventual winner of the Democratic nomination will be the candidate who has developed an economic message that resonates with Americans. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: Democrats need to focus on what really matters to voters to win in 2020," 5 July 2019 That size and those colorful nicknames carried a wonderful everyman quality that resonated with fans far beyond Kentucky’s borders. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "There will never be another like Kentucky football great Jared Lorenzen," 3 July 2019 When news broke that Halle Bailey had been cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid, the actress shared an image that resonated with fans. Alexia Fernandez,, "The Sweet Story Behind the Indian-American Ariel Illustration The Little Mermaid Star Halle Bailey Shared," 3 July 2019 Whitehead saw himself in the disparate views of Elwood, an optimist who treats Martin Luther King Jr.’s words as gospel, and Turner, a cynic who evokes a rage and disillusionment that will resonate with many readers. Mitchell S. Jackson, Time, "'I Carry It Within Me.' Novelist Colson Whitehead Reminds Us How America's Racist History Lives On," 27 June 2019 Finally, another team had a clever idea that will resonate with office workers who have to compete for meeting space. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Netflix’s latest Hack Day projects include rumble packs for smartphone viewers," 20 June 2019 On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump promised to revive the coal industry and restore mining jobs — a message that resonated with the working-class voters who helped elect him. Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Fortune, "Why Trump's EPA Rollback to End 'War on Coal' Won't Rescue the Industry," 19 June 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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Statistics for resonate

Last Updated

17 Jul 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).


something desired as essential

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