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

That last concern should especially resonate among Democrats. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump Is on the Right Side of the Law, for Once," 8 Aug. 2019 The hopeful conclusion is that the shock of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, may resonate. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: For El Paso, Dayton and the nation, close the gun law loophole," 7 Aug. 2019 Despite the busy visuals, the exhibit resonates as a quiet, calm space. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Down the street from vandalized comfort-women statue is an exhibit honoring the women," 1 Aug. 2019 The recent deaths resonate because there are more and more pedestrians and cyclists who have had their own near-misses. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "The Spot: I watched Wednesday’s debate with friends. Here are my 3 takeaways.," 1 Aug. 2019 The passionate local defense of Baltimore and indictment of the president resonated widely, as lawmakers such as Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., "Baltimore Sun editorial blasts back at Donald Trump after remarks denigrating city," 29 July 2019 The second part of that statement in particular resonates, Brantner said. Katrin Bennhold,, "Greens are the new hope for Europe’s center. For the far right, they’re enemy number one.," 14 July 2019 Some of these feats were to be expected: dominance usually resonates. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "World Cup 2019: The U.S. Women’s Team Wins and Leaves the Stage as a New Kind of American Role Model," 7 July 2019 To this day, the Times-Picayune/ resonates with readers like few local media outlets in America. Jeff Duncan,, "My front row seat to the Golden Age of New Orleans sports," 28 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

14 Aug 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 make or get by devious means

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