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 That’s a message that could resonate with voters since both Republicans were found to have traded stocks to protect their investments as the pandemic raged. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, "Georgia’s Senate candidates run as dynamic duos. Will it work?," 18 Nov. 2020 That was pre-pandemic, but the video surely may resonate with others going through tough times. oregonlive, "Watch Lake Oswego man’s adorable animation about friendship, love and getting through tough times," 15 Nov. 2020 The latest figures undercut Trump's boasts about his record on trade, but even his inflated claims may not resonate with voters. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Trump’s final campaign push touts his China trade policy—but his signature deal isn’t delivering what it promised," 28 Oct. 2020 His message of unity and being the candidate to bring the country together is one that could resonate with his supporters in the Peach State. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Trump hits the campaign trail in Nebraska," 27 Oct. 2020 The accounts recently suspended by Twitter, while claiming to represent an African American viewpoint, apparently sought to build an audience for a meme about Trump’s Black support that may resonate most with White voters, experts said. Washington Post, "Fake Twitter accounts posing as Black Trump supporters appear, reach thousands, then vanish," 13 Oct. 2020 As Harry Potter has helped shape many millennial minds, the deep sense of nostalgia may resonate with those who grew up watching and reading the series. Ryan Nickerson, Houston Chronicle, "Harry Potter-themed Muggle-less Bar headed to Downtown Houston this month," 12 Oct. 2020 The message from more than 50 years ago may resonate again. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Kenosha could spark an armed escalation if activists on the left embrace their right to wield guns," 27 Aug. 2020 Defeating Penn State should have long-term implications and resonate with prospects in the mid-Atlantic, which is Maryland’s primary source of talent. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten winners, losers: Basketball schools rising as Michigan, Nebraska continue to fall," 9 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.

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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

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resonate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 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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