noun, often attributive
re·​nais·​sance | \ ˈre-nə-ˌsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) , -ˌzän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) , -ˌsäⁿs, -ˌzäⁿs; ˌre-nə-ˈsän(t)s How to pronounce renaissance (audio) , -ˈzän(t)s, -ˈsäⁿs, -ˈzäⁿs, chiefly British ri-ˈnā-sᵊn(t)s \

Essential Meaning of renaissance

1 : 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 book on the Renaissance
2 : a situation or period of time when there is a new interest in something that has not been popular in a long time The magazine began when the country was undergoing a culinary renaissance. [=rebirth] The city has experienced a renaissance [=renewal, revival] of interest in historic preservation.
3 : a period of new growth or activity the city's economic renaissance [=revival, rebirth]

Full 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for renaissance



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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 return of space flight has sparked a renaissance in Brevard County. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 18 Nov. 2021 The loss could be all the more profound because the last 20 years has seen a renaissance in Afghan culture, reflective of the country's diversity of ethnicities and languages and fueled by its enormous population of young people. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 22 Aug. 2021 Buoyed by partnerships with Gucci, Pepsi, and the NFL, and a bustling Harlem atelier, Dan’s renaissance is proving the power of fashion that speaks to its community. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2021 That is a scene that is certainly having a renaissance. Justin Curto, Vulture, 5 Nov. 2021 The sophistication and impact of Cash Back grew in parallel with the renaissance in ecommerce. Gary Drenik, Forbes, 2 Nov. 2021 Watching the Vuntut Gwitchin’s climate renaissance, Tizya-Tramm couldn’t help but see a personal parable. Tik Root, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Oct. 2021 That has changed recently, and not only because of a renaissance for upwardly mobile white residents. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2021 Flashy monogrammed prints have shown no sign of slowing down—chalk it up to the Y2K renaissance. Shelby Ying Hyde, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Oct. 2021

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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The first known use of renaissance was in 1837

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Dictionary Entries Near renaissance



Renaissance architecture

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Renaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for renaissance


re·​nais·​sance | \ ˌre-nə-ˈsäns How to pronounce renaissance (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on renaissance

Nglish: Translation of renaissance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renaissance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about renaissance


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