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

The remarkable economic renaissance known as the Celtic Tiger was roaring back in Ireland, a lure for Gerard. Thomas Farragher,, "From his grandfather’s knee, lessons of love," 16 June 2018 The city has since undergone a renaissance due in no small part to the ideas generated by the Manhattan Institute. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Where New York Goes to Think," 12 July 2018 Like many cities across the country, the District has undergone a renaissance over the past generation as developers built or renovated housing in gentrifying areas that became magnets for young professionals. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "District government asks court to throw out $1 billion gentrification lawsuit," 2 July 2018 Under Aklilu’s leadership, Salute e Vita became a symbol of what many hoped would be a renaissance for a city once known for blight, violent crime and government corruption. Rachel Swan,, "Patrons grieve end of popular Richmond restaurant: ‘A dagger to community’s heart’," 16 June 2018 In net, there’s a three-time Stanley Cup champion that’s found a career renaissance in the desert while the offense has been buoyed by some of the NHL’s burgeoning stars. The Si Staff,, "Stanley Cup Final Preview: Top Storylines to Watch for in the Final," 25 May 2018 Djokovic's relationship with Agassi had seemed an ideal fit since the American sustained a similar dip in his career before undergoing a renaissance that included three Australian Open titles. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Could French Open signal Novak Djokovic's grand slam rebirth?," 24 May 2018 Back then America was in the middle of what looked like a civic renaissance. Micah L. Sifry, The New Republic, "Escape From Facebookistan," 21 May 2018 SUBSCRIBE NOW Couple that with a space renaissance that is going on, given the large amount of wealth to be made from space services, capabilities and activities. Moriba Jah, star-telegram, "We need to deal with another looming environmental problem. This one is in space | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 5 Mar. 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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Phrases Related to renaissance

Renaissance woman

the Renaissance

Statistics for renaissance

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for renaissance

The first known use of renaissance was in 1837

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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

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


lying above or upon

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