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

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

Stanfield now finds himself at the center of an overdue small-screen black renaissance that includes everything from Black-ish to Insecure and The Chi while also building a career as a movie star. Clover Hope, Glamour, "Lakeith Stanfield Is a New Kind of Leading Man," 11 Sep. 2018 Out for the afternoon in Los Angeles, Teigen ditched a perfectly-in-place high topknot for an artfully messy bun renaissance—the ideal on-the-go updo. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen Proves That Stylish New Mom Hair Is as Simple as This Easy Look," 23 Aug. 2018 The old industrial city of Newark—a town that no other Newark wanted to be mistaken for has been swept up in an aggressive renaissance. Georeen Tanner, Fox News, "Lead may be making Newark’s water poisonous," 17 Aug. 2018 Among scientists, there are tentative signs of a psychedelics renaissance. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, "The Science of Altering Consciousness," 15 May 2018 As recently as summer 2016, Snapchat was having some sort of renaissance. Helena_fitzgerald, The Verge, "The decline of Snapchat and the secret joy of internet ghost towns," 18 May 2018 Sittenfeld, incidentally, seems to be having a bit of a career renaissance. Constance Grady, Vox, "Jane Austen, authority on relationship intricacies, has been cited in 27 legal decisions," 28 Apr. 2018 For a couple that spent over a decade staying very tight-lipped about their relationship, the past two years have been a bit of a creative renaissance for the Carters., "I Hope OTRII Is The Last Joint Tour From Beyoncé & Jay-Z," 12 Mar. 2018 The attention to bowling shoes comes at a time when bowling is experiencing a mini-renaissance. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New Berlin graphic designer named finalist in bowling shoe makeover contest," 11 July 2018

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

18 Nov 2018

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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 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 \

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

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