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ren·ais·sance (rĕnĭ-säns, -zäns, rĭ-nāsəns)
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n.
1. A rebirth or revival.
2. Renaissance
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.
3. oftenRenaissance
a. A revival of intellectual or artistic achievement and vigor:the Celtic Renaissance.
b. The period of such a revival.
adj.Renaissance
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
Chambord, France
bottom: The Return of Judith
to Bethulia, c. 1469,
by Sandro Botticelli

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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