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

echo, reecho, resonate, resound, sound

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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


the sound of thunder reverberated from one end of the mountain pass to the other

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The effects of that failure promise to reverberate across Alaska. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "With 22 Republicans absent, the Alaska Legislature failed to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes. What’s next?," 11 July 2019 The powerful blast leveled a defunct pizza shop, Pizzafire, at the north end of the Market on University, 1041 S. University Drive, and reverberated from Weston to Sunrise. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Criminal charges still possible in Plantation explosion," 8 July 2019 The game was postponed after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California and reverberated back to Las Vegas. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Zion Williamson makes thrilling Summer League debut before earthquake hits. Michael Porter Jr. can only watch.," 5 July 2019 No matter the outcome for the U.S. team, her virtuoso performance will reverberate. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "World Cup 2019: Megan Rapinoe Commands the Stage," 29 June 2019 As the audience lifted their peace signs in the air, Hussle's presence was felt, with his verse reverberating throughout the venue. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "DJ Khaled & John Legend Honor Nipsey Hussle With Powerful Tribute at 2019 BET Awards," 24 June 2019 The dry, reverberating drums of U.K. garage smash in; a wub-wub-wub noise scans like a prison-yard floodlight; there’s a sense of reckless acceleration and accumulating chaos. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Thom Yorke’s Beautiful New Nightmare," 29 June 2019 The incident outraged the boy’s family who spoke with local media outlets and the story reverberated across the country. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Authority, public accountability rests with Gary emergency manager," 6 June 2019 The losses reverberated throughout the retail sector, pulling shares of other companies down, including those that had posted better results over the past couple of months. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Regain Ground Despite Concerns About Global Growth," 10 Jan. 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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Statistics for reverberate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for reverberate

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

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More Definitions for reverberate



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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Comments on reverberate

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something desired as essential

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