Etymology: French ressource, from Old French ressourse relief, resource, from resourdre to relieve, literally, to rise again, from Latin resurgere — more at resurrection
Date: circa 1611
a. a source of supply or support ; an available means — usually used in plural
b. a natural source of wealth or revenue — often used in plural
c. a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life
d. computable wealth — usually used in plural
e. a source of information or expertise
2. something to which one has recourse in difficulty ; expedient
3. a possibility of relief or recovery
4. a means of spending one's leisure time
5. an ability to meet and handle a situation ; resourcefulness
resource, resort, expedient, shift, makeshift, stopgap mean something one turns to in the absence of the usual means or source of supply. resource and resort apply to anything one falls back upon <exhausted all of their resources> <a last resort>. expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible <a flimsy expedient>. shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient <desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure>. makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference <old equipment employed as a makeshift>. stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure <a new law intended only as a stopgap>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.