re·​source ˈrē-ˌsȯrs How to pronounce resource (audio)
: a source of supply or support : an available means
usually used in plural
: a natural source of wealth or revenue
often used in plural
: a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life
: computable wealth
usually used in plural
: a source of information or expertise
: something to which one has recourse in difficulty : expedient
: a possibility of relief or recovery
: a means of spending one's leisure time
: an ability to meet and handle a situation : resourcefulness
Choose the Right Synonym for resource

resource, resort, expedient, shift, makeshift, stopgap mean something one turns to in the absence of the usual means or source of supply.

resource and resort apply to anything one falls back upon.

exhausted all of their resources
a last resort

expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible.

a flimsy expedient

shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient.

desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure

makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference.

old equipment employed as a makeshift

stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure.

a new law intended only as a stopgap

Examples of resource in a Sentence

Oil is essentially their only resource. The computer laboratory is an essential resource for students.
Recent Examples on the Web Gerstenmaier and other space industry executives also participated in a US Senate hearing, which did not include FAA officials, calling for streamlined regulations and more FAA resources for issuing launch licenses. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 Another possibility is to use a nearby park and trails to promote biking among students, and draw on resources at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to teach foreign language and/or cyber security at the neighborhood school. Cynthia Howell,, 18 Nov. 2023 The United Nation's Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday asking for urgent humanitarian pauses and corridors in the region that could allow opportunity for resources to reach those in need that have yet to be carried out. Dr. Jade Cobern, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2023 Every user command or query would require more computational resources if plugged into a generative AI model. Yessenia Funes, The Verge, 17 Nov. 2023 But its small size still leaves it short on the resources and expertise needed to protect against rising sea levels, surging ocean temperatures, intensifying rainfall and escalating heat. Frank Hulley-Jones, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 The snow fell faster than roadway crews and removal equipment could respond, leaving officials scrambling to find more resources and respond to the escalating emergency. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Back in the ninth and 10th centuries, Nordic travelers started using farm animal excrement as a replacement for firewood when resources grew scarce. Claire Volkman, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2023 For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email Lisa Ling, CBS News, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resource.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French ressource, from Old French ressourse relief, resource, from resourdre to relieve, literally, to rise again, from Latin resurgere — more at resurrection

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of resource was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near resource

Cite this Entry

“Resource.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​source ˈrē-ˌsō(ə)rs How to pronounce resource (audio)
: a new or a reserve source of supply or support
plural : a usable stock or supply (as of money, products, or energy)
mineral resources
: the possibility of relief or recovery
left helpless without resource
: the ability to meet and deal with difficult situations

More from Merriam-Webster on resource

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!