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 The controversy over that decision is certain to reverberate for some time to come. David Meyer, Fortune, "The great digital acceleration," 14 Jan. 2021 In this brave story of rupture and resilience, Owusu explores the ways trauma and history reverberate across generations. Vulture Editors, Vulture, "25 Notable New Releases Over the Next Two Weeks," 4 Jan. 2021 Instead of winking pastiche, the series presented surprisingly rich characters and themes — bullying, toxic masculinity, how past choices reverberate — plus some REO Speedwagon needle drops. New York Times, "‘Cobra Kai’: Strike First. Strike Hard. Come Back for More.," 3 Jan. 2021 And a presidential election outcome that saw a sitting president and his allies attempt to foment an alternate reality in a way that's likely to reverberate across political systems for years to come. Patrick Condon, Star Tribune, "Disruption defined Minnesota's year in politics," 26 Dec. 2020 The impact of these losses will reverberate long after the pandemic recedes, experts say. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, "COVID’s ‘untold story’: Texas Blacks and Latinos are dying in the prime of their lives," 19 Dec. 2020 The effects would reverberate outside the transit system and result in about 450,000 regional job losses and a $65 billion cut to the region’s gross domestic product, according to a New York University study. Washington Post, "Transit system service cuts proposed in Congress’s backyard elicit calls for more funding," 2 Dec. 2020 That the performing arts have not received the same kind of policy consideration as restaurants and other businesses will reverberate through Lincoln Center and beyond, for years to come. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "Think Outside the Opera House, and Inside the Parking Garage," 21 Oct. 2020 While rates have declined this summer, the effects of the outbreak — family loss, business disruption, economic pain — continue to reverberate across the city. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Stevie Wonder, paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman, talks COVID, elections, love over hate," 3 July 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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reverberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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