Renaissance Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It?

Do you know the meaning of renaissance? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the term, including how to use it in a sentence.

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Even if you don’t particularly like literature or aren’t exactly too fond of art, you’ve likely heard of the Renaissance period. 

A vibrant time of cultural, artistic, political, and economic “rebirth” following the Middle Ages, the Renaissance was possibly the most important period of development that has ever occurred in European history. That said, what does the word “renaissance” mean? 

Not to worry; we’ll tell you. This article explores the term renaissance to tell you everything you need to know about its definition, origin, and how to use it in a sentence. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

What Is the Definition of Renaissance?

If you’ve made it this far in life, you may already have a slight understanding of the definition of renaissance. Were you aware that there are two slightly different meanings for the noun? Either can be pinpointed by the capitalization of the “r” in the word renaissance. 

  • The Collins Dictionary of the English language tells us that The Renaissance was a period in Europe, namely Italy, starting in the 14th century lasting into the 17th century that marked the revival of literature and art under the classical models. In this sense, the “r” should always be capitalized.
  • Lexico defines renaissance as the renewal or revival of something that was temporarily out of favor — the “r” here is not to be capitalized.

By definition, if you managed to stick to your New Year’s resolution of the age-old “new year, new me” and were able to forgo carbohydrates for the year — it’s time to have a pasta renaissance and revive that interest in those tasty carbs.

What Is the Etymology of the Word Renaissance?

As we obtain a firmer hold on the definition behind the noun renaissance, let’s begin to explore its etymology. 

When we look at the etymology of a word, we’re taken on a journey to see its origin. In doing so, we get to see how the words’ definitions and spellings have evolved over history. 

The etymology of a word is its origin story – from its earliest beginnings to all the twists, turns, and stops it made in between. So, where did the word renaissance come from?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, renaissance is a French word referring to rebirth. Which itself is from Old French renaistre, meaning “to be born,” stemming from Latin renasci. Renasci comes from the prefix re– and the root nāscī, also meaning “to be born.” This has Indo-European roots from genə, meaning to beget or give birth. 

Fun Fact: An additional term for renaissance used around 1785 was “revival of learning.”

Words Related to Renaissance

As we further understand renaissance, one thing we should not overlook is its synonyms and antonyms

Both synonyms and antonyms are an outstanding way to help us memorize the definition of a word. On the other hand, antonyms and synonyms are effective methods of avoiding repetition in written and spoken conversations. 


  • Belle epoque
  • Recrudescence
  • Golden age
  • New beginning
  • New start
  • Springtime
  • Seeing afresh
  • Best of times
  • New dawn
  • rekindling
  • Invigoration
  • Peak
  • Pinnacle
  • Discovering again
  • Zenith
  • Energy burst
  • Restored strength
  • Hayday
  • Best years
  • Apex
  • Finding again
  • Resuscitation
  • Rejuvenation
  • Revival
  • Renewal
  • High point
  • Second wind


  • Dark age
  • Decline
  • Disappearance
  • Failure
  • Oblivion
  • Killing off
  • Stagnation
  • Degeneration
  • Suppression
  • Destruction
  • Deterioration
  • Degeneracy
  • Downturn
  • Devaluation
  • Retrogression
  • Slump

Examples of Renaissance in a Sentence

Now that you understand the definition of renaissance, it’s time to practice using this noun in a sentence. 

Quiz yourself today and see how many sentences you can come up with on your own by using your newfound knowledge! 

Below are examples to help better understand the proper usage of renaissance:

I hope that a global nuclear renaissance is not on the horizon and will never become a reality. 

I admire the architecture during the European Renaissance of the 14 through the 16th centuries.

Stop being so down in the dumps; surely your love life will have a renaissance soon.

If you ask me, the architects, poets, and sculptors of the Renaissance were on a whole different level compared to the artists of modern times.

As potters combine traditional and modern techniques, pottery has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts.

While many thought he was on the brink of retirement, his play has clearly seen a renaissance.

Do you know what happened during the Renaissance at the end of the 16th century?

According to our textbooks, Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance.

I had no idea that Bridget had always dreamed of portraying a midwife at the local renaissance festivals; she had just never had the time to do so.

Devin, always the clear-cut renaissance man, is constantly drilling down to the core issues.

It’s pretty simple to get to our house. Take a left as you pass the renaissance center, and once you hit the dead end, you’re there! 

The last time I was at the renaissance fair, I am pretty sure I ate my weight in turkey legs alone – oh, those were good times. 


Whether it be the revival of your love for old pop culture or the capital-R take on Renaissance like the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, we can use both to define the word renaissance — just be sure to pay extra close attention to the “r!” 


  1. RENAISSANCE | definition in the | Cambridge English Dictionary
  2. Renaissance synonyms –  Words and Phrases for Renaissance | Power Thesaurus
  3. Renaissance definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  4. RENAISSANCE English Definition and Meaning | Lexico