revenant

noun
rev·e·nant | \ ˈre-və--nənt , -ˌnäⁿ \

Definition of revenant 

: one that returns after death or a long absence

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Other words from revenant

revenant adjective

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.

Examples of revenant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s no shortage of undead monsters, hulking trolls, poisonous revenants, and other foes attempting to thwart your mission along the way. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "Review: The New ‘God of War’ Game Is Different, Bold and Demands Your Attention," 18 Apr. 2018 But in its best moments the piece conjures strange revenants from a still unquiet past. The New Yorker, "Drunken With What," 9 Jan. 2017 His most recent film, Crimson Peak (2015), is a Victorian ghost story, which suggests a certain gentility, but there’s nothing genteel about del Toro’s revenants, nothing wispy or discreet. Terrence Rafferty, The Atlantic, "The Master of Highbrow Horror," 11 Oct. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of revenant

1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for revenant

French, from present participle of revenir to return

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Statistics for revenant

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Time Traveler for revenant

The first known use of revenant was in 1818

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More from Merriam-Webster on revenant

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Comments on revenant

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