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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for renaissance



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Wade Payne/Invision/AP Images The Dolly Parton renaissance is upon us. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Babies named Jolene are on the rise," 12 Dec. 2019 But the second-half renaissance wasn’t enough to avoid the tough TNT critique. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "After Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley call out Portland Trail Blazers’ Hassan Whiteside, he responds with big 2nd half," 8 Nov. 2019 Asbury Park’s renaissance is still a work in progress. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "The Fall and Rise of the Town Springsteen Made Famous," 23 Sep. 2019 As astronomers began erecting observatories on Mauna Kea in the 1970s, a cultural renaissance was sweeping Hawaii. Jason Davis, NBC News, "A huge telescope in Hawaii could lead us to alien life. First it has to get off the ground.," 18 Aug. 2019 The city’s renaissance was still in bloom, and Cleveland’s downtown was showing remarkable signs of commercial and residential regeneration. Phillip Morris,, "All-Star Game gives nation a new look at Cleveland’s grit, relevance: Phillip Morris," 7 July 2019 The world is watching Harlem, but this renaissance will be different. Chevaz Clarke, CBS News, "Pharrell Williams promises internships to more than 100 Harlem high school graduates," 3 July 2019 DC’s culinary renaissance is also perfect for foodies looking for a one of kind experience-dozens of pop-up bars opened in 2018 alone. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The 10 Best Vacations You Can Take With Your Tax Refund," 18 Mar. 2019 The Miley Cyrus renaissance is in full swing right now. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Is Reportedly Returning to Television in "Black Mirror"," 13 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about renaissance

Time Traveler for renaissance

Time Traveler

The first known use of renaissance was in 1837

See more words from the same year

Statistics for renaissance

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Renaissance.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for renaissance


How to pronounce renaissance (audio) How to pronounce renaissance (audio) How to pronounce renaissance (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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