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

Her empowering words resonated with people all over the world. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Glenn Close Has Never Won an Oscar—But Has Seven Nominations," 23 Feb. 2019 But just as important, say industry professionals, may be the fact that the story’s focus on social justice, which has been strongly emphasized in Mr. Sorkin’s version, resonates with a younger market. Charles Passy, WSJ, "‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Hits Broadway Box-Office Bonanza," 9 Feb. 2019 Anti-Amazon advocates are having trouble resonating with the public because, unlike other antitrust cases, consumers don’t feel the pain. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Why criticism of Amazon isn’t sticking," 11 Dec. 2018 Ariana debuted the tattoo addition in August 2018, and revealed how much the film resonated with her. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's Tattoos: A Complete Guide," 2 Oct. 2018 Then in 2016, Trump's polarizing message resonated with many of the post-manufacturing economies such as New Castle, said Mike Hicks, a Ball State economist. Seth Slabaugh, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Joe Donnelly needs to keep his pro-Trump voters. But can he?," 12 July 2018 Perhaps this physicality resonated with investors who viewed stocks and bonds as nothing more than letters on a screen or at the most, pieces of paper. Eduardo Gruener, miamiherald, "No, your house is not an investment," 9 July 2018 Doerr’s advice, based on decades of investing in startups that later became giants like Amazon and Google, resonated with the crowd of around 100 c-level executives in attendance. John Patrick Pullen, Fortune, "'They're Failing Us.' John Doerr Has a Risky Plan for Course-Correcting the Government," 26 June 2018 What was perceived in Flint as the hijacking of democracy resonated with Dr. Mona. CBS News, "The Flint water crisis: A loss of trust," 17 June 2018

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

13 Mar 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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