"great period of revival of classical-based art and learning in Europe that began in the fourteenth century," 1840, from French renaissance des lettres, from Old French renaissance, literally "rebirth," usually in a spiritual sense, from renastre "grow anew" (of plants), "be reborn" (Modern French renaître), from Vulgar Latin *renascere, from Latin renasci "be born again, rise again, reappear, be renewed," from re- "again" (see re-) + nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci, from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").
An earlier term for it was revival of learning (1785). In general usage, with a lower-case r-, "a revival" of anything that has long been in decay or disuse (especially of learning, literature, art), it is attested by 1855.
[Renaissance] was so far established as the English word for the thing before it was latinized or anglicized into renascence that it is still the more intelligible of the two, & may well be left in possession. [Henry W. Fowler, "Modern English Usage," Oxford: 1926. He does, however, recommend pronouncing it as English, "rinā'sns."]
As an adjective, "of or pertaining to the Renaissance," by 1842. Renaissance man is attested by 1885 in the basic sense of "a man alive during the Renaissance;" by 1898 particularly with a notion of "exhibiting the virtues and characteristics of an idealized man of the Renaissance," humanism, scholarship, varied attainments, freedom of thought and personality; used by 1949 of modern or living persons, sometimes merely meaning "well-rounded."
"springing or rising into being again," 1727, from Latin renascentem (nominative renascens), present participle of renasci "be born again" (see Renaissance).
*genə-, also *gen-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.
It forms all or part of: Antigone; autogenous; benign; cognate; congener; congenial; congenital; connate; cosmogony; cryogenic; degenerate; engender; engine; epigone; eugenics; -gen; gendarme; gender; gene; genealogy; general; generate; generation; generic; generous; genesis; -genesis; genial; -genic; genital; genitive; genius; genocide; genotype; genre; gens; gent; genteel; gentile; gentle; gentry; genuine; genus; -geny; germ; german (adj.) "of the same parents or grandparents;" germane; germinal; germinate; germination; gingerly; gonad; gono-; gonorrhea; heterogeneous; homogeneous; homogenize; homogenous; impregnate; indigenous; ingenious; ingenuous; innate; jaunty; kermes; kin; kindergarten; kindred; king; kind (n.) "class, sort, variety;" kind (adj.) "friendly, deliberately doing good to others;" Kriss Kringle; malign; miscegenation; nada; naive; nascent; natal; Natalie; nation; native; nature; nee; neonate; Noel; oncogene; ontogeny; photogenic; phylogeny; pregnant (adj.1) "with child;" primogenitor; primogeniture; progenitor; progeny; puisne; puny; renaissance; theogony; wunderkind.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit janati "begets, bears," janah "offspring, child, person," janman- "birth, origin," jatah "born;" Avestan zizanenti "they bear;" Greek gignesthai "to become, happen," genos "race, kind," gonos "birth, offspring, stock;" Latin gignere "to beget," gnasci "to be born," genus (genitive generis) "race, stock, kind; family, birth, descent, origin," genius "procreative divinity, inborn tutelary spirit, innate quality," ingenium "inborn character," possibly germen "shoot, bud, embryo, germ;" Lithuanian gentis "kinsmen;" Gothic kuni "race;" Old English cennan "beget, create," gecynd "kind, nature, race;" Old High German kind "child;" Old Irish ro-genar "I was born;" Welsh geni "to be born;" Armenian cnanim "I bear, I am born."
... so the great movement which goes by the name of the Renaissance (but why should we not give to this foreign word, destined to become of more common use amongst us, a more English form, and say Renascence?) was an uprising and re-instatement of man's intellectual impulses and of Hellenism. [Arnold, "Anarchy and Authority," in Cornhill Magazine, June 1868]
Related: Renascency (1660s in a general sense).
masc. proper name, name of a Biblical archangel (Apocrypha), from Late Latin, from Greek Rhaphael, from Hebrew Repha'el, literally "God has healed," from rapha "he healed" + el "God." Raphaelesque (1832) is in reference to the great Renaissance painter Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520). Also see Pre-Raphaelite.
call-and-response exclamation in singing, by 1933, associated with U.S. bandleader Cabell "Cab" Calloway (1907-1994) and especially his signature song "Minnie the Moocher," which dates from 1931.
Calloway recalled in his autobiography that the song came first and the chorus was later improvised when he forgot the lyrics during a radio broadcast. ["Harlem Renaissance Lives," Oxford, 2009]
Italian family that ruled Florence during the 15c., originally the plural of medico "a physician," from Latin medicus (see medical (adj.)). Related: Medicean.
[A]n illustrious family of Florence, appearing first as merchants of the medieval republic, and at the dawn of the Renaissance, in the fifteenth century, raised to supreme power through their liberality and merit. From this time on for three centuries, amid fortunes of varying brilliancy, this family produced popes, sovereigns, and tyrants, and it occupies a large place in the history of Europe. In the fine arts and literature the epithet has particular reference to Cosimo dei Medici, known as Cosimo the Elder, and to Lorenzo the Magnificent. [Century Dictionary]
From 1832 in reference to "intelligent study and appreciation of the classics," especially in reference to the Renaissance. By 1847 in reference to "system or mode of thought in which human interests predominate" (originally often in the writings of its enemies). As a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as "The perception that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds."