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

What does revenant mean and how can you use it in a sentence? This article will provide everything you need to know about the meaning of revenant.

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

If you’re a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, you’ve likely seen the 2015 American epic survival drama film called The Revenant — but do you know what the word revenant means? 

In this article, we’ll provide you with all of the information you need to know about the term revenant, including its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and more. If you’ve ever wondered what revenant means or how to properly use it in a sentence — keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Revenant?

The word revenant can be used in the English language as a noun or an adjective, with slight variations within each definition. We have scoured the likes of Cambridge English Dictionary and  other trusted sources to help get to the bottom of every definition. 

Below you will find a list of the varying definitions and example uses of revenant:

  • Adjective — Used in reference to “coming back,” like a revenant ghost
  • Noun — Defined as someone who has seemingly returned from the dead 
  • Adjective — Used to reference a certain type of a revenant, like a revenant groan or a revenant shriek
  • Noun — Any thing or person that has returned after an absence (usually following a prolonged period)

Revenant is most commonly defined as someone who has returned, although even then, it is not the most commonly used word and should always be used with proper context so as to not confuse your readers or peers.

What Are Example Sentences Using Revenant

Since we have taken the time to learn all the varying definitions of revenant, a good way to memorize all this new information is by practicing to use the word in a sentence. 

Below you will find a few examples of the proper usage of the word revenant. After reviewing our examples, quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with on your own! 

I have this crazy fear that folklore will come true and revenants will rise from their graves to terrorize all of humanity.”

For Halloween this year, I’m going to dress up as a revenant.

When the fog disappeared, so did the revenants.

Have you ever seen the movie called The Revenant featuring Leonardo DiCaprio?

Whether you call them revenants or ghosts, spirits still give me the heebie-jeebies.

You may not believe in supernatural beings, but I wholeheartedly believe in revenants.”

That is no random house; that is a den of revenant ghosts.

The psychic told me that I would be visited by a revenant tomorrow night.

What Are Synonyms for Revenant?

Now that you’re becoming better acquainted with the word revenant, let’s take a look at some synonyms and antonyms. 

Below you will find a list of synonyms provided by Power Thesaurus:

  • Evil spirit
  • Ghost 
  • Conjuring trick
  • Apparition 
  • Trompe l’oeil
  • Wraith 
  • Familiar spirit
  • Phantasm 
  • Undead 
  • Bump in the night
  • Specter
  • Spook
  • Shade
  • Visitant
  • Zombie
  • Spirit
  • Bogey 

What Are Antonyms for Revenant?

Below you will find a list of antonyms provided by Power Thesaurus:

  • Physical body
  • Angel
  • God
  • Chance of a lifetime
  • Being
  • Human
  • Corporeal being
  • Individual
  • Blank
  • Voidness
  • Corporeality
  • Reality
  • Truth
  • Nothingness
  • Gap
  • Person
  • Mortal
  • Character 

What Is the Etymology of Revenant?

Etymology refers to the study of how a word’s meaning has changed throughout history, as well as the study of its origin. For some, studying the origin or etymology of a word can help them better grasp its current definition.

The word revenant, defined as “one who returns,” had its first noted use in the 19th century. Revenant derived from the Old French revenant (or the feminine revenante), the present participle of revenir, which literally means to return. 

Translations of Revenant Around the Globe

Only coming to be in the 19th century, some credit the 2015 film “The Revenant” for its now internationally widespread use. The word revenant is now used in various languages around the world. 

Below you will find a list of translations of revenant from various languages provided by

  • Polish — upiór, zombie
  • Turkish — revenant
  • Czech — zmrtvýchvstalý
  • German — wiedergänger, wiedergängerin
  • Finnish — kuolleista noussut
  • Japanese — 亡霊
  • Portuguese — revenant
  • Russian — привидение, человек, призрак, зомби
  • Danish — genganger
  • Latin — nuntius


The word revenant can be used as an adjective or a noun and refers to any one person or thing that comes back after an extended period of time. If your bird goes missing for weeks, only to fly back into your house one morning, you could describe your beloved pet as a revenant. 

In other words, anyone who comes back after being gone for a long period can typically be described as revenant. The term revenant can also be used when referencing spirits or ghosts. 


  1. Revenant synonyms – 119 Words and Phrases for Revenant | Power Thesaurus
  2. What does revenant mean? |
  3. REVENANT | definition | Cambridge English Dictionary