ren·ais·sance (rĕnĭ-säns′, -zäns′, rĭ-nāsəns)
1. A rebirth or revival.
a. The humanistic revival of classical art, architecture, literature, and learning that originated in Italy in the 14th century and later spread throughout Europe.
b. The period of this revival, roughly the 14th through the 16th century, marking the transition from medieval to modern times.
a. A revival of intellectual or artistic achievement and vigor:the Celtic Renaissance.
b. The period of such a revival.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Renaissance or its artistic and intellectual works and styles.
2. Of or being the style of architecture and decoration, based on classical models, that originated in Italy in the 14th century and continued throughout Europe up to the end of the 16th century.
[French, fromOld French, fromrenaistre, to be born again, fromVulgar Latin*renāscere, fromLatinrenāscī : re-, re- + nāscī, to be born; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
(click for a larger image)Renaissance
top: Château de Chambord
bottom: The Return of Judith
to Bethulia, c. 1469,
by Sandro Botticelli
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus