noun, often attributive
re·​nais·​sance | \ ˌre-nə-ˈsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) , -ˈzän(t)s, -ˈsäⁿs, -ˈzäⁿs; ˈre-nə-ˌsän(t)s, -ˌzän(t)s, -ˌsäⁿs, -ˌzäⁿs, chiefly British ri-ˈnā-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) \

Definition of renaissance

1 capitalized

a : the transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th century in Italy, lasting into the 17th century, and marked by a humanistic revival of classical influence expressed in a flowering of the arts and literature and by the beginnings of modern science
b : the period of the Renaissance
c : the neoclassical style of architecture prevailing during the Renaissance
2 often capitalized : a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for renaissance


belle epoque (or belle époque), golden age


dark age

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Examples of renaissance in a Sentence

a book on the Renaissance the 19th-century literary renaissance that prompted people to refer to Boston as the Athens of America

Recent Examples on the Web

Designed in 1962 at the height of Italy’s post-war design renaissance, the Arco Floor Lamp was just one of 150 or so practical everyday objects designed by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "The Arco Floor Lamp Is the Perfect Solution for Rooms Without Overhead Lighting," 5 Feb. 2019 In recent years, Chicago’s outré version of feminist art has been enjoying something of a renaissance. Harper's BAZAAR, "Art Pioneer Judy Chicago Is the Feminist We All Need," 2 Apr. 2019 As the Cavs look ahead to a matchup with either the Sixers or Celtics, who lead that series 3-1 and host Game 5 on Wednesday, Love's renaissance gives Cleveland the most comfort. Tom Withers, Houston Chronicle, "Sweep, sleep: Cavaliers oust Raptors, wait for East finals foe," 8 May 2018 After all, why wouldn’t visitors flock to a place in the midst of a gin renaissance that also, somehow, is even more fun in the rain? Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Helped Make London 2019’s “Top Destination”," 28 Mar. 2019 Photo: K C Bailey / Netflix.. Netflix's new romantic comedy, Set It Up, may just mark the beginning of the romcom renaissance — but that's not what this post is about. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Is This The Most Controversial Scene In Set It Up? An Investigation," 19 June 2018 Here in the self-labeled ‘state of resistance,’ the political debate is being pushed further left without any sign of a Republican renaissance to serve as a check on spending and social policy ambitions. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: More memos are coming. Here are six questions about ‘Phase Two’ of the Nunes investigation.," 5 Feb. 2018 Escobar arrived with Cain in a 2011 trade with Milwaukee, and together with Hosmer and Moustakas, formed the basis of a franchise renaissance. USA TODAY, "Royals sign SS Alcides Escobar to 1-year, $2.5 million deal," 29 Jan. 2018 During a time when '90s hair accessories are experiencing a major renaissance, Momoa's look is right on trend. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Moment for Jason Momoa’s Pink Fendi Scrunchie at the Oscars," 25 Feb. 2019

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

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for renaissance

French, from Middle French, rebirth, from Old French renaistre to be born again, from Latin renasci, from re- + nasci to be born — more at nation

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Statistics for renaissance

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renaissance

The first known use of renaissance was in 1837

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More Definitions for renaissance



English Language Learners Definition of renaissance

: the period of European history between the 14th and 17th centuries when there was a new interest in science and in ancient art and literature especially in Italy
: a situation or period of time when there is a new interest in something that has not been popular in a long time
: a period of new growth or activity


re·​nais·​sance | \ ˌre-nə-ˈsäns How to pronounce renaissance (audio) \

Kids Definition of renaissance

1 capitalized : the period of European history between the 14th and 17th centuries marked by a fresh interest in ancient art and literature and by the beginnings of modern science
2 : the act of changing in a positive way : a period during which things are improving The city's downtown is experiencing a renaissance.

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Comments on renaissance

What made you want to look up renaissance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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