ri·​sor·​gi·​men·​to (ˌ)rē-ˌzȯr-ji-ˈmen-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce risorgimento (audio)
plural risorgimentos
often capitalized : the 19th century movement for Italian political unity
: a time of renewal or renaissance : revival

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During the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars (1796-1815), the French dominated Italy and introduced many new reforms to the Italian states. After the wars, the states were restored to their former rulers, the Austrians, and took on a conservative character. In response, a number of secret societies arose as part of an ideological and literary movement in support of a united Italy free of foreign domination. This movement was given the name Risorgimento, which literally translates from Italian as "rising again." Although most modern use of the term still refers to this movement, the word also has broader application in English, referring to revivals or renewals of any sort. This second sense is occasionally capitalized in a nod to the earlier use.

Word History


Italian, literally, rising again, from risorgere to rise again, from Latin resurgere — more at resurrection

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of risorgimento was in 1883


Dictionary Entries Near risorgimento

Cite this Entry

“Risorgimento.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/risorgimento. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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