[rev-uh-nuh nt]


a person who returns.
a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost.

Origin of revenant

1820–30; < French: ghost, noun use of present participle of revenir to return, equivalent to re- re- + ven(ir) to come (< Latin venīre) + -ant -ant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for revenant

phantom, apparition, specter, spirit

Examples from the Web for revenant

Historical Examples of revenant

  • That is true, Monsieur; he has been often taken for a revenant.

  • It is by the strength of the revenant, by the return of his soul into his body?

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • You are now one of us; a revenant, even as I, and to live you must feed on the living.

    Each Man Kills

    Victoria Glad

  • Like that shadowy majesty of Denmark, our dramatic author was a "revenant."

  • But there is no doubt that the majority of us would prefer encountering a human rather than a four-footed "revenant."

British Dictionary definitions for revenant



something, esp a ghost, that returns

Word Origin for revenant

C19: from French: ghost, from revenir to come back, from Latin revenīre, from re- + venīre to come
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 revenant

1827, from French revenant (fem. revenante), noun use of present participle of revenir "to return" (see revenue).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper