revenant

noun rev·e·nant \ ˈre-və-ˌnäⁿ , -nənt \
Updated on: 9 May 2018

Definition of revenant

: one that returns after death or a long absence

revenant

adjective

Recent Examples of revenant from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'revenant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What is a revenant?

For much of 2016, revenant was among our top lookups, doubtless because it was prominently featured in the title of a movie (The Revenant) released in 2015. Outside of contemporary cinema, revenant is encountered rarely, and it appears likely that many users who were unfamiliar with the word wished to learn more about its meaning and perhaps where it came from. Denoting “one that returns after death or a long absence,” revenant is a borrowing from French that was originally formed from the present participle of the verb revenir ("to return"). It literally means “one coming back,” either from another place or from the dead.

Origin and Etymology of revenant

French, from present participle of revenir to return


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