resonance

noun

res·​o·​nance ˈre-zə-nən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio)
ˈrez-nən(t)s
1
a
: the quality or state of being resonant
b(1)
: a vibration of large amplitude in a mechanical or electrical system caused by a relatively small periodic stimulus of the same or nearly the same period as the natural vibration period of the system
(2)
: the state of adjustment that produces resonance in a mechanical or electrical system
2
a
: the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration
b
: a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (such as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
c
: a quality of richness or variety
d
: a quality of evoking response
how much resonance the scandal seems to be havingU.S. News & World Report
3
: the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
4
: the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (such as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
5
a
: the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system
6
: an extremely short-lived elementary particle
7
: a synchronous gravitational relationship of two celestial bodies (such as moons) that orbit a third (such as a planet) which can be expressed as a simple ratio of their orbital periods

Did you know?

Resonance Uses Beyond Sound

Many of the finest musical instruments possess a high degree of resonance which, by producing additional vibrations and echoes of the original sound, enriches and amplifies it. Violins made by the Italian masters Stradivari and Guarneri possess a quality of resonance that later violinmakers have never precisely duplicated. And you may have noticed how a particular note will start something in a room buzzing, as one of the touching surfaces begins to resonate with the note. Because of that, resonance and resonate—along with the adjective resonant—aren't always used to describe sound. For example, you may say that a novel resonates strongly with you because the author seems to be describing your own experiences and feelings.

Example Sentences

the resonance of the singer's voice His story didn't have much resonance with the audience.
Recent Examples on the Web Dylan had reestablished contact with themes of deep resonance — mortality, the disappointments of love, the hard truths of age and regret — and scrutinized them with a poetic yet unsparing edge. David Weininger, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Jan. 2023 Unfortunately, the film is essentially a vacuum with no sense of intrigue or urgency — there's practically no character development, thematic weight, artistic innovation, emotional resonance, or narrative thrust. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 24 Jan. 2023 These reparative restagings have only gained resonance in an era keen on redressing the exclusions of the archive. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 21 Jan. 2023 The knee implant was simulated in both systems, where the results show a different resonance and maximum temperature rise at the end of the stem (lower images). IEEE Spectrum, 20 Jan. 2023 Margraf's allegations gained resonance last year at the private school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and with an enrollment of more than 34,000. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2023 The company uses machine learning to analyze these influencers’ audience, content and resonance, pairing them with brands that include 40% of the Fortune 50, like McDonald’s, Pepsi and NFL. Alexandra Sternlicht, Fortune, 19 Jan. 2023 One goal: To find resonance for today from the lessons of the past. oregonlive, 16 Jan. 2023 The film’s resonance over the decades led Warner Bros. and LeBron James’ production company to create a new version for 2023 that hits theaters this week. cleveland, 15 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resonance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English resonaunce, from Middle French resonance, from resoner to resound — more at resound

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of resonance was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near resonance

Cite this Entry

“Resonance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonance. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

resonance

noun
res·​o·​nance ˈrez-ᵊn-ən(t)s How to pronounce resonance (audio)
-nən(t)s
1
: the quality or state of being resonant
2
: a reinforcement of sound (as a musical tone) in a vibrating body or system caused by waves from another body vibrating at nearly the same rate
3
: a vibrating quality of a voice sound

Medical Definition

resonance

noun
1
: a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in anatomical resonating chambers or cavities (as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
2
: the sound elicited on percussion of the chest
3
: the conceptual alternation of a chemical species (as a molecule or ion) between two or more equivalent allowed structural representations differing only in the placement of electrons that aids in understanding the actual state of the species as an amalgamation of its possible structures and the usually higher-than-expected stability of the species
4
a
: the enhancement of an atomic, nuclear, or particle reaction or a scattering event by excitation of internal motion in the system

More from Merriam-Webster on resonance

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