[ ri-zil-yuhns, -zil-ee-uhns ]
See synonyms for resilience on
  1. the power or ability of a material to return to its original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

  2. the ability of a person to adjust to or recover readily from illness, adversity, major life changes, etc.; buoyancy.

  1. the ability of a system or organization to respond to or recover readily from a crisis, disruptive process, etc.:Cities can build resilience to climate change by investing in infrastructure.

Origin of resilience

First recorded in 1620–30; see resili(ent) + -ence
  • Also re·sil·ien·cy [ri-zil-yuhn-see, -zil-ee-uhn-see] /rɪˈzɪl yən si, -ˈzɪl i ən si/ .

Other words from resilience

  • non·re·sil·i·ence, noun
  • non·re·sil·i·en·cy, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use resilience in a sentence

  • That resiliency which had kept him from going before under terrific stress stood him in good stead now.

    The Hidden Places | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • His very essence is resiliency under difficulties, an unabashed and undefeatable front.

  • After a few games it became deflated, with the resiliency of a soggy sponge.

    Rough-Hewn | Dorothy Canfield
  • The vividness and resiliency of the life of man is being fast crushed under organisation, tabulation.

    One Man's Initiation--1917 | John Dos Passos
  • Our spirits rose with the instant resiliency of youth, but what a task that reaping proved to be!

British Dictionary definitions for resilience


/ (rɪˈzɪlɪəns) /

  1. Also: resiliency the state or quality of being resilient

  2. ecology the ability of an ecosystem to return to its original state after being disturbed

  1. physics the amount of potential energy stored in an elastic material when deformed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012