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)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for reverberate

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Despite the concern over high prices for innovative drugs, the news stories that reverberate in the public’s consciousness, getting recycled over and over again, are those that relate to generic or old drugs. Karen Tibbals, STAT, "Moral foundations theory can help rehabilitate pharma’s image," 4 Nov. 2020 Today, tensions still reverberate throughout the region, even though relations between the two countries were normalized in 1991. NBC News, "Who are the Asian Americans still voting for Trump in spite of his 'China virus' rhetoric?," 27 Oct. 2020 But there are crucial differences between 2016 and 2020, starting with the largest mass movement in the nation’s history, whose spillover effects will reverberate throughout this election and beyond. Eli Day, The New Republic, "How a Radical Black Tradition Could Buoy Biden in Michigan," 5 Oct. 2020 But the deadening of buzz will reverberate in other ways, with potentially grave consequences. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "A Year Without Movie Buzz," 30 Oct. 2020 The steep drop in flyers has prompted billions of dollars of losses and tens of thousands of job cuts or voluntary furloughs as impacts reverberate across the aviation industry. Alan Levin,, "U.S. Air Passengers Exceed 1 Million, First Time Since March," 19 Oct. 2020 But the results could reverberate beyond the performing arts and play to a national audience of scientists and policymakers who are only beginning to understand the role of aerosols in fueling the pandemic. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "University of Minnesota, orchestra study aerosols from instruments," 17 Oct. 2020 The implications could reverberate through the White House race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden -- and beyond. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Texas has the U.S.'s second-largest Indian American community. Politicians are starting to take notice," 8 Oct. 2020 Cincinnati mirrors the national picture: Its experience shows how economic shock waves continue to reverberate through people’s lives even as the worst effects of the springtime crash recede. Justin Baer And Eric Morath, WSJ, "Inside an American Comeback: ‘I Just Have to Keep Myself Going’," 18 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reverberate

Time Traveler for reverberate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about reverberate

Statistics for reverberate

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reverberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reverberate

What made you want to look up reverberate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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