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

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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 But a Youngkin victory would also raise profound questions for Biden and Democrats in the longer term that will reverberate in the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 11 Oct. 2021 The swearing-in of President Ebrahim Raisi signals the culmination of a hard-line Iranian political retrenchment that will reverberate deeply in the country and beyond. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Aug. 2021 The effects of even a temporary ban are likely to reverberate. Abigail Abrams, Time, 22 Sep. 2021 Step back: Fear is growing about how the crisis at Evergrande will reverberate through the financial system. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 20 Sep. 2021 Soaring gas prices have forced the closure of two large UK fertiliser plants, sparking warnings of a looming shortage of ammonium nitrate that could hit food supplies as record energy prices start to reverberate through the global economy. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 18 Sep. 2021 After all, the recall’s outcome will reverberate into the 2022 election cycle. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 The human rights implications of tech companies' actions reverberate around the world. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 17 Sep. 2021 Proctor’s absence will reverberate regardless of what defensive alignment is used Saturday against Tulsa and beyond. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 15 Sep. 2021

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

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reverberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for reverberate



English Language Learners Definition of reverberate

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on reverberate

Nglish: Translation of reverberate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reverberate for Arabic Speakers


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