Use the word revenant to talk about someone who returns after a long absence. If your cat goes missing for weeks, only to stroll back into your house one morning, you could describe him as a revenant.

Anyone who comes back after being gone for a long time can be described as revenant, which can be a noun or an adjective. You can even use revenant to talk about ghosts, in that they are said to be spirits of those returning from the dead, or a fashion trend from long ago that is popular again, like revenant tie-dye t-shirts. The word revenant comes from the French revenir, which means "to return."

Definitions of revenant
  1. noun
    a person who returns after a lengthy absence
  2. noun
    someone who has returned from the dead
    see moresee less
    type of:
    the visible disembodied soul of a dead person
  3. adjective
    of or relating to or typical of a revenant
    revenant shrieks and groans”
  4. adjective
    coming back
    “a revenant ghost”
    synonyms: recurring
    occurring without interruption; chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series
Commonly confused words

Oscar or No, What Does "Revenant" Mean?

Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant is racking up awards. The movie has put the unusual word revenant on the tip of a lot of tongues, with many of us asking, "What the heck does it mean?"

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