1610s, "any means of supplying a want or deficiency," from French resourse "a source, a spring," noun use of fem. past participle of Old French resourdre "to rally, raise again," from Latin resurgere "rise again" (see resurgent).
The meaning "possibility of aid or assistance" (often with a negative) is by 1690s; the meaning "expedient, device, shift" also is from 1690s. Resources as "a country's wealth, means of raising money and supplies" is recorded by 1779. A library resource center was so called by 1968.