[ri-noo, -nyoo]


able to be renewed: a library book that is not renewable.


something that is renewable.

Origin of renewable

First recorded in 1720–30; renew + -able
Related formsre·new·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·re·new·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·new·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for renewables

Contemporary Examples of renewables

  • Unless something major changes in the price of renewables, I expect that pattern to continue for the indefinite future.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What Are We Going to Do About Carbon?

    Megan McArdle

    June 25, 2013

  • The rather thin justification offered is that some of the power the transmission line will carry will come from renewables.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Solyndra 2.0

    Megan McArdle

    April 2, 2013

  • We will support nuclear and renewables but phase out subsidies once an industry is on its feet.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mitt Romney's Iowa Problem

    Daniel Gross

    November 6, 2012

  • DB: Was there ever the idea to consolidate and create one global trustmark for all renewables?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Winds of Change: Q&A: Vestas Visionary Morten Albaek

    Daily Beast Promotions

    January 27, 2011

  • Leverage public dollars with private investment through a Green Bank to promote energy-efficiency and renewables.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How I'd Create Jobs

    The Daily Beast

    December 7, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for renewables


pl n

sources of alternative energy, such as wind and wave power
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for renewables



1727, from renew + -able. In reference to energy sources, attested by 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

renewables in Science



Relating to a natural resource, such as solar energy, water, or wood, that is never used up or that can be replaced by new growth. Resources that are dependent on regrowth can sometimes be depleted beyond the point of renewability, as when the deforestation of land leads to desertification or when a commercially valuable species is harvested to extinction. Pollution can also make a renewable resource such as water unusable in a particular location. Compare nonrenewable.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.