re·​ver·​ber·​ate | \ ri-ˈvər-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce reverberate (audio) \
reverberated; reverberating

Definition of reverberate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to become driven back
b : to become reflected
2 : to continue in or as if in a series of echoes : resound a historic event that still reverberates today


re·​ver·​ber·​ate | \ ri-ˈvər-b(ə-)rət How to pronounce reverberate (audio) \

Definition of reverberate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for reverberate

Synonyms: Verb

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Did You Know?


The letter sequence "v-e-r-b" in reverberate might make you think at first of such word-related brethren as proverb, verbal, and verbose, all of which derive from the Latin noun verbum, meaning "word." In fact, reverberate comes from a much different source: the Latin verb verberare, meaning "to whip, beat, or lash," which is related to the noun verber, meaning "rod." Reverberate entered the English language in the 15th century, and one of its early meanings was "to beat, drive, or cast back." By the early 1600s it began to appear in contexts associated with sound that repeats or returns the way an echo does.

Examples of reverberate in a Sentence

Verb the sound of thunder reverberated from one end of the mountain pass to the other
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But before finding success across Europe, Gentileschi endured a traumatic experience that would reverberate throughout the rest of her career. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, "Nine Women Whose Remarkable Lives Deserve the Biopic Treatment," 7 Feb. 2020 Its effects would reverberate, sometimes literally, around the planet. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 The battle would reverberate across the Atlantic, potentially pushing up the value of Sky, the satellite TV company, which is 39% owned by Fox. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Bidding for Fox Will Get Serious After Court Ruling," 10 June 2018 Whatever Germany decides will shape its relations with China for years and reverberate across the Continent. New York Times, "In Huawei Battle, China Threatens Germany ‘Where It Hurts’: Automakers," 16 Jan. 2020 Tacky was a former military leader from the Gold Coast, and Brown argues that his revolt was one phase of a larger plot that spanned the island and reverberated across the region. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 6 Jan. 2020 The dollar shortage is reverberating across the economy, suppressing consumer demand and driving up costs for Lebanon’s all-important service sector, which must pay vendors in dollars. Washington Post, "With dollars running low in Lebanon, ATMs are spitting back bank cards, and locals are panicking," 22 Nov. 2019 What if that ugly sound of leather hitting metal again reverberates across the lakefront? Dan Wiederer,, "Why the Bears should keep an eye on Ravens kicker Kaare Vedvik: ‘He’ll kick well enough for us to trade him'," 6 Aug. 2019 The aftershocks of the interview have since reverberated beyond the PR sphere, however, upending Prince Andrew's role as Buckingham Palace's connection to the business world. Phil Boucher, Fortune, "The Corporate Cost of Prince Andrew’s Jeffrey Epstein Mess," 23 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reverberate.' 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 reverberate


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1603, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reverberate


Latin reverberatus, past participle of reverberare, from re- + verberare to lash, from verber rod — more at vervain

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Time Traveler for reverberate

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The first known use of reverberate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reverberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reverberate


How to pronounce reverberate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reverberate

somewhat formal
: to continue in a series of quickly repeated sounds that bounce off a surface (such as a wall)
: to become filled with a sound


re·​ver·​ber·​ate | \ ri-ˈvər-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce reverberate (audio) \
reverberated; reverberating

Kids Definition of reverberate

: to continue in or as if in a series of echoes My voice reverberated throughout the room.

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