re·​nais·​sance ˈre-nə-ˌsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) -ˌzän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio)
ˌre-nə-ˈsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio)
 chiefly British  ri-ˈnā-sᵊn(t)s
often attributive
: 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
: the period of the Renaissance
: the neoclassical style of architecture prevailing during the Renaissance
often capitalized : a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity

Example Sentences

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 Auburn’s defense has undergone a midseason renaissance, with the unit turning a corner and putting up three quality performances since the shakeup within the program. Tom Green |, al, 22 Nov. 2022 The coffeehouse musicians that were the dominant force in the U.S. during the folk-heavy 1950s and early ’60s have been experiencing a mini-renaissance lately. Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Baltimore is going through a similar renaissance as weekend series against the Red Sox or Yankees at Camden Yards started to attract just as many Orioles fans as ones rooting for the opposition. Peter Abraham,, 12 Nov. 2022 Recent research conducted by Allianz Partners suggests that the strong dollar has encouraged a renaissance for overseas holiday travel. Alex Ledsom, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 At the same time, college football was undergoing a rapid offensive renaissance as spread offenses proliferated. Laine Higgins, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 Downtown Napa’s renaissance shows no signs of a slowdown. Jess Lander, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Nov. 2022 The period from the 8th through the 11th is something of a rollercoaster but with Venus powerfully aspecting Pluto on the 13th, a kind of emotional renaissance leads to personal breakthroughs that set you on a new path. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 1 Nov. 2022 In the aftermath of his death, tributes from fellow performers flooded social media, including one from Bravo's Andy Cohen, who mentioned Jordan's social media renaissance. Lanford Beard, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of renaissance was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near renaissance

Cite this Entry

“Renaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



re·​nais·​sance ˌren-ə-ˈsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) -ˈzän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio)
capitalized : the period of European history between the 14th and 17th centuries marked by a flourishing of art and literature inspired by ancient times and by the beginnings of modern science
often capitalized : a movement or period of great activity (as in literature, science, and the arts)

More from Merriam-Webster on renaissance

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.