re·​source ˈrē-ˌsȯrs How to pronounce resource (audio)
: a source of supply or support : an available means
usually used in plural
: a natural source of wealth or revenue
often used in plural
: a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life
: computable wealth
usually used in plural
: a source of information or expertise
: something to which one has recourse in difficulty : expedient
: a possibility of relief or recovery
: a means of spending one's leisure time
: an ability to meet and handle a situation : resourcefulness
Choose the Right Synonym for resource

resource, resort, expedient, shift, makeshift, stopgap mean something one turns to in the absence of the usual means or source of supply.

resource and resort apply to anything one falls back upon.

exhausted all of their resources
a last resort

expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible.

a flimsy expedient

shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient.

desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure

makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference.

old equipment employed as a makeshift

stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure.

a new law intended only as a stopgap

Example Sentences

Oil is essentially their only resource. The computer laboratory is an essential resource for students.
Recent Examples on the Web Other neighbors surrounding the resource-rich waterway also lay claim to parts of the area, including Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 21 Nov. 2022 In hosting major international sporting events, buying up soccer teams and even creating a golf league, the resource-rich Gulf States are seeking attention, prestige, economic diversification and political credibility. Vivian Nereim, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2022 Entire teams vanished, including one on machine-learning ethics, and employee resource groups like Twitter Women were reportedly dismantled. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 There are also colleague resource groups, in which people of similar ethnic and racial backgrounds meet monthly to discuss common issues. Hartford Courant, 31 Oct. 2022 To help create community, companies can sponsor voluntary ERGs (employee resource groups) explicitly designated for trans women employees, led by employees. Liza Smyth, Quartz, 25 Oct. 2022 American and European oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil and French giant TotalEnergies, have multibillion-dollar projects in the resource-rich province of Cabo Delgado, in the country’s far north. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2022 The hefty gains make these investors among the winners—alongside energy companies and resource-rich states like Saudi Arabia—from a period of surging prices and extraordinary volatility. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2022 That includes more than $73 billion on projects in resource-rich Brazil. Charles Couger, Fox News, 22 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


French ressource, from Old French ressourse relief, resource, from resourdre to relieve, literally, to rise again, from Latin resurgere — more at resurrection

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of resource was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near resource

Cite this Entry

“Resource.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



re·​source ˈrē-ˌsō(ə)rs How to pronounce resource (audio)
: a new or a reserve source of supply or support
plural : a usable stock or supply (as of money, products, or energy)
mineral resources
: the possibility of relief or recovery
left helpless without resource
: the ability to meet and deal with difficult situations

More from Merriam-Webster on resource

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