Printable Version
Pronunciation: ree-zæwnd Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To echo broadly, loudly, over and over. 2. To make a prolonged, reverberating sound. 3. To be important or successful enough to impress.

Notes: Today's word has pieces of itself spread across the English language. The preposition used more frequently with the intransitive sense of this verb is with, as 'to resound with the songs of birds'. The present participle, resounding, may be used as a synonym of impressive, as 'a resounding success'. The adjective from this word, resonant, now means "deep, clear, attractive and prolonged" (sound). The verb itself may be spelled with a hyphen, re-sound, in the sense of "sound again".

In Play: The nearest synonym to today's word is loud: "When Gladys Friday asked for a raise, she received a resounding, 'No!' from her boss." The adjective resonant, on the other hand, usually has pleasant connotations: "The wine accompanying dinner was a resonant one that you would want to back to over and over again."

Word History: This Good word is an alteration of Middle English resounen, influenced bysound. Resounen was snitched from Old French resoner "to resonate" (today résonner), the present participle of which was résonant. This verb French inherited from Latin resonare "to echo", comprising re- "back, again" + sonare "to sound". Sonare was inherited from Proto-Indo-European swen- "sound", which ended up in in English as swan. The Latin root shows up in unison (in one voice), sonic, as in 'sonic boom', and sonata. (Let us now send William Hupy a resounding 'thank you' for recommending today's resonant Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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