ren·​di·​tion | \ren-ˈdi-shən \

Definition of rendition 

: the act or result of rendering something: such as

a : surrender

b : translation

c : performance, interpretation

see also extraordinary rendition

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Did You Know?

Rendition entered English in the early 17th century and can be traced to the Middle French word reddition and ultimately to the Latin verb reddere, meaning "to return." The English verb "render" is another descendant of "reddere," so perhaps it is no surprise that "rendition" fundamentally means "the act or result of rendering." English speakers also once adopted "reddition" itself (meaning either "restitution, surrender" or "elucidation"), but that word has mostly dropped out of use. Incidentally, if you've guessed that "surrender" is also from the same word family, you may be right; surrender derives in part from the Anglo-French rendre, which likely influenced the alteration of "reddition" to "rendition."

Examples of rendition in a Sentence

a moving rendition of an old gospel song a new rendition of the text in English

Recent Examples on the Web

Its record of having participated in 16 of the 21 renditions of the event puts it in truly esteemed company. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why Mexico is the World Cup's biggest loser despite sterling start in Russia," 21 June 2018 The acoustic renditions are always fun because the fans join in, really providing the backbone to the song. Rebecca Farley,, "Taylor Swift Swings Through Manchester For A Moving Reputation Concert," 11 June 2018 Among the most memorable renditions of the song in recent decades was Celine Dion’s version, recorded for a fundraiser album that hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post, "The surprising history of “God Bless America,” the patriotic hymn Trump might have forgotten," 6 June 2018 Meanwhile, Ward's rendition was a little more old-fashioned, paired with white gloves, low pumps, and pearl earrings. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Had a Pretty Woman Moment at a Polo Match Over the Weekend," 2 July 2018 Mann’s rendition of a stuffy is creamier than its typical New England counterpart, the quahog meat blended with mozzarella, herbs and housemade focaccia crumbs, then gratinéed in the shell. Craig Laban,, "Jersey Shore restaurants offer tasty food options from Cape May to LBI," 29 June 2018 There are several reasons that Apple's rendition of all this is still superior. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "From Win32 to Cocoa: A Windows user’s would-be conversion to Mac OS X, part III," 28 May 2018 Oregon’s latest rendition of its state track and field meet was a three-day affair at Hayward Field, where six classifications staged individual championship events. Nick Daschel | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "What if Oregon had an all-classification state track and field meet? Here are the winners," 22 May 2018 Purity: Winemaker Noel Diaz poured a tropical, juicy Viognier at Brumaire, as well as three whole-cluster Syrahs at Brumaire; his Calaveras County rendition was the standout. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Eleven lesser-known California natural wines to try," 15 Mar. 2018

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

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rendition

obsolete French, from Middle French, alteration of reddition, from Late Latin reddition-, redditio, from Latin reddere to return

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Statistics for rendition

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rendition

The first known use of rendition was in 1601

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More Definitions for rendition



English Language Learners Definition of rendition

: a performance of something


ren·​di·​tion | \ren-ˈdi-shən \

Kids Definition of rendition

: an act or a result of performing He played his own rendition of a popular tune.


ren·​di·​tion | \ren-ˈdi-shən \

Legal Definition of rendition 

1 : the act or result of rendering the Court's rendition of judgment

2 : extradition of a fugitive who has fled to another state

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full of whispering sounds

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