Resilience Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

resilience

noun
re·​sil·​ience | \ ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s How to pronounce resilience (audio) \

Essential Meaning of resilience

1 : the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens The rescue workers showed remarkable resilience in dealing with the difficult conditions.
2 : the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc. the resilience of rubber Cold temperatures caused the material to lose resilience.

Full Definition of resilience

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Using Resilience Outside of Physics

In physics, resilience is the ability of an elastic material (such as rubber or animal tissue) to absorb energy (such as from a blow) and release that energy as it springs back to its original shape. The recovery that occurs in this phenomenon can be viewed as analogous to a person's ability to bounce back after a jarring setback. Author P. G. Wodehouse took note of this when he wrote: "There is in certain men … a quality of resilience, a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat, which aids them as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind." The word resilience derives from the present participle of the Latin verb resilire, meaning "to jump back" or "to recoil." The base of resilire is salire, a verb meaning "to leap" that also pops up in the etymologies of such sprightly words as sally and somersault.

Examples of resilience in a Sentence

… the concert remained a remarkable tribute to Dylan's resilience and continued relevance. — Susan Richardson, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 1994 He squeezed the rubber with a clamp and then released it—demonstrating with this painfully simple experiment that the material lost its resilience and therefore its ability to flex rapidly enough to protect the rocket joint from tumultuous hot gases. — James Gleick, New York Times Book Review, 13 Nov. 1988 With amazing resilience the two tribes pulled together and set out to found a new town farther up the river. — Carolyn Gilman, American Indian Art Magazine, Spring 1988 It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment. — Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897 The rescue workers showed remarkable resilience in dealing with the difficult conditions. Cold temperatures caused the material to lose resilience.
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Recent Examples on the Web The state this year allocated $3.7 billion to climate resilience projects, Gero said, and about $500 million has been carved out for urban areas like Los Angeles. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2021 Miami-Dade County in Florida is spending a $400 million bond on resilience projects. Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2021 The bill attempts to revamp the country’s crumbling physical infrastructure by rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, and public transportation systems, expanding broadband access, and funding climate resilience. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 6 Nov. 2021 At the federal level, the infrastructure bill now tied up in Congress will, if passed, include $37 billion for resilience projects. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Nov. 2021 There are many other areas: energy grid optimization, carbon accounting, building management, fire management, climate resilience. Rob Toews, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 The World Bank for instance announced Tuesday $150 million in financing to support climate-resilience projects in rural communities in Kenya. Time, 27 Oct. 2021 The legislation would include up to $50 billion for climate resilience efforts alone. Camille Squires, Quartz, 27 Oct. 2021 Miami-Dade County, Florida, is spending a $400 million bond on resilience projects. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, 27 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resilience.' 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 resilience

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for resilience

see resilient

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Time Traveler for resilience

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The first known use of resilience was in 1807

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Dictionary Entries Near resilience

resiliate

resilience

resiliency

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Statistics for resilience

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resilience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilience. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for resilience

resilience

noun
re·​sil·​ience | \ ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s How to pronounce resilience (audio) \

Medical Definition of resilience

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change emotional resilience

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