The Meaning of Resonate: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of resonate? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word resonate, including its definition, word origin, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word resonate mean?

According to Cambridge Dictionary, Dictionary, and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word resonate (pronounced ˈrez ə neɪt_ is an intransitive verb that means to produce sound via vibration, like an echo, shaking the objects that are near. If a sound is to resonate, this means that it sounds throughout a space and is often loud. This word can also be used figuratively to mean to be filled with a specific quality, or to have a powerful effect on something or someone. For example, a dish can resonate with someone’s memory if it is a recipe that their grandmother used to cook for them often. A story can resonate with someone’s emotions if they relate to it strongly. Something that is said to exhibit resonance elicits an emotional response when used figuratively. If the pandemic took a loved one from a person, it could be said to have resonant effects on them. This sympathetic response shows that the person’s emotions continue to figuratively sound inside of them, echoing for a long period of time. Try using resonate or other new words today!

The word resonate also exists in many other languages. You may notice that many of these words sound and look similar to the word resonate. Cognates like this happen when words are of a similar origin. Since the word resonate comes from Latin, it makes sense that it will look similar to its equivalent words in the romance languages, which are also languages of Latin origin. This list of translations for the word resonate is provided by Word Sense.

  • Romanian: răsuna‎
  • Irish: athshon‎
  • Italian: risuonare‎
  • Spanish: resonar‎
  • French: résonner‎
  • Finnish: värähdellä‎, värähdellä mukana‎, resonoida‎
  • Maori: tōiri‎, tōiriiri‎
  • German: nachhallen‎

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word resonate?

There are many different words that have the same meaning as the word resonate. These are known as synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you want to avoid repeating yourself or if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word resonate is provided by Thesaurus

  • reverberate
  • ring
  • oscillate
  • reproduce
  • vibrate
  • sound
  • echo

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning as the word resound. These are known as antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you are looking to expand your vocabulary or knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word resonate is also provided by Thesaurus

  • overawe
  • cut short
  • quiet
  • say nothing
  • subdue
  • dummy up
  • quiet down
  • cool it
  • gag
  • tongue-tie
  • quash
  • silence
  • mute
  • hold one’s tongue
  • dry up
  • hush one’s mouth
  • close up
  • stifle
  • quell
  • lull
  • suppress
  • sit on
  • still
  • shut up
  • squelch
  • extinguish
  • deaden
  • muzzle
  • clam up
  • shush
  • decrease the volume
  • choke off
  • soft-pedal
  • muffle
  • dumb
  • hush
  • hush-hush
  • keep it down
  • pipe down
  • dampen
  • clam
  • quieten
  • strike dumb
  • dull
  • cut off

What is the etymology of the word resonate?

According to Etymonline, the word resonate has been used as a verb since the year 1873. The word resonate comes from the Latin resonatus, which is the past participle of the Latin resonāre, which means to sound again. While this was used literally at first, it began to be used figuratively by the year 1978. We also get the word resonance from the same source. Resonance has been used since the 15th century to refer to the reverberation of a sound, and was spelled resonaunce. By the 1660s, it was used to describe the act of reconating. This comes directly from the Latin resonantia meaning echo. The word resonation was used slightly earlier but in the same sense. Related words include resonant, resound, resounding, resonator, resonated, and resonating.

How can the word resonate be used in a sentence?

The word resonate can be used in many different contexts both literally and figuratively. In this example, it will be used figuratively. Sara and Fiona have just been released from an anti-drunk driving assembly. Sara looks shaken by the reenactment and Fiona comforts her.

Fiona: Sara, what’s wrong? You look like you just saw a ghost.

Sara: I don’t know… that assembly just really resonated with me. I lost my brother to underagr drunk driving when I was ten, and I guess I never really let myself picture exactly what happened. I just feel really shaken up.

Fiona: Oh, Sara I’m sorry. Here, let me walk you down to the counselor’s office. You should go home.

Sara: Thanks, Fiona.

Here, Sara says that the assembly resonated with her emotionally. The assembly brought back very strong feelings that remind Sara of the loss of her brother, and she feels the effects of the assembly very strongly. In the next example, a sound will be physically resonating. Fiona sings a song in church for the first time.

Fiona: Wow, I can’t believe how loud that was. Was it too loud?

Director: It was perfect. These halls resonate beautifully.

Overall, the word resonate is a word that is used both literally and figuratively in American English. The word can either mean to literally fill with sound, vibrating from a noise, or it can mean to have a powerful effect on someone. This is a very versatile word that can be used in many different contexts.

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/resonate/
  2. https://www.etymonline.com/word/resonance?ref=etymonline_crossreference
  3. https://www.etymonline.com/word/resonate#etymonline_v_30481
  4. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/resonate
  5. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/quieten
  6. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resonate
  7. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/resonate
  8. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/resonate