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 At least two of Owens’ four children may have witnessed the shooting, which occurred about 9 p.m. Woods promised Owens’ family his office will provide all resources available to seek justice in the case. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 5 June 2023 Healey committed early in her campaign to focus resources on production during a time when housing has become increasingly unaffordable and harder to find. Samantha J. Gross,, 5 June 2023 An interpretive park ranger does a variety of things, like explaining park resources to visitors or guiding them on hikes, among other things. Jared Quigg, Chicago Tribune, 4 June 2023 Run for Something has all the resources, including tactical and strategic support as well as mentorship and training. Mattie Kahn, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 June 2023 The mayor’s office also said new signs have been added in public locations to alert residents of impending weather conditions and resources available to help them. Laura Ly, CNN, 2 June 2023 The day will include entertainment, games, shopping, activities, food, resources, giveaways, dancing and live music from Nikki Holland and the Dirty Elizabeths. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 2 June 2023 At one point, the city council voted to end the school resource officer, or SRO, program entirely, then reversed course and reinstated the officers after a run of safety incidents at some campuses. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 2 June 2023 This process of downloading apps from alternate or unofficial resources is called sideloading. Gabriel Zamora, PCMAG, 1 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resource.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 8 Jun. 2023.

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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