Word of the Day


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Origin of the word

The noun resilience, meaning ‘the act of rebounding’, was first used in the 1620s and was derived from ‘resiliens’, the present participle of Latin ‘resilire’, ‘to recoil or rebound’. In the 1640s, resilient was used to mean ‘springing back’. It had roots in the same Latin verb ‘resilire’, but was not used figuratively about individuals or groups of people until circa 1830 (1).

By 1824, the term had developed to encompass the meaning of ‘elasticity’ (2). By the mid-nineteenth century, resilient emerged as a technical term in the watchmaking industry, referring to flexible qualities of internal components that prevented excessive vibration. In the 1850s, resilient was used to describe being resistant or not susceptible to something.

Related words: resilience, resiliently, resiliency


In the wake of a natural disaster, psychological as well as physical support helps people to recover.

“The first step toward achieving this goal designed to foster individual and community resilience is providing leadership, but not any kind of leadership… resilience-focused leadership. Resilient leadership may be thought of as those leadership behaviours that help us adapt to, or rebound from, adversity.” Psychology Today. 16th October 2017: Recovering from “An Act of Pure Evil.” (1)

“Engineers tested several advanced sensors that can collectively measure strain, temperature, movement and leakage — installed along a 40-foot section of a hazard-resilient pipeline.” Science Daily. 14th June 2017: The future of our cities: Engineers test resilient, intelligent infrastructure. (2)


1. able to quickly become healthy, happy or strong again after an illness, disappointment or other problem
2. a substance or object that is resilient is able to return to its original shape after being bent, stretched or pressed

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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