[ri-vahy-vuh l]
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  1. restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.
  2. restoration to use, acceptance, or currency: the revival of old customs.
  3. a new production of an old play.
  4. a showing of an old motion picture.
  5. an awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion.
  6. an evangelistic service or a series of services for the purpose of effecting a religious awakening: to hold a revival.
  7. the act of reviving.
  8. the state of being revived.
  9. Law. the reestablishment of legal force and effect.

Origin of revival

First recorded in 1645–55; revive + -al2
Related formsnon·re·viv·al, nounpre·re·viv·al, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for revival


  1. the act or an instance of reviving or the state of being revived
  2. an instance of returning to life or consciousness; restoration of vigour or vitality
  3. a renewed use, acceptance of, or interest in (past customs, styles, etc)a revival of learning; the Gothic revival
  4. a new production of a play that has not been recently performed
  5. a reawakening of faith or renewal of commitment to religion
  6. an evangelistic meeting or service intended to effect such a reawakening in those present
  7. the re-establishment of legal validity, as of a judgment, contract, etc
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 revival

1650s, "act of reviving;" 1660s, "the bringing of an old play back to the stage," from revive + -al (2). First in sense "general religious awakening in a community" by Cotton Mather, 1702; revivalist is first attested 1812.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

revival in Culture


In Christianity, an energetic meeting intended to “revive” religious faith. Common among fundamentalists, these meetings are characterized by impassioned preaching and singing.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.