OK, but What Is a 'Revenant'? The Meaning Behind Oscars 2016 Best Picture Nominee Title

The Academy Award for best director went to Alejandro Iñárritu for The Revenant on Sunday, but the win has many people wondering: What does "revenant" mean? 

The literal definition, according to Dictionary.com, of the word "revenant" is "a person who returns, or a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost." Derived from the French term revenir, the word literally means "to come back."

Read more: Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio Wins Best Actor at the Oscars for 'The Revenant'

In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, "a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s ... on a quest for survival after being brutally mauled by a bear," according to IMDb. The movie is loosely inspired by the real Hugh Glass, who was attacked by a bear during Gen. William Henry's 1823 exploration of the Dakotas, according to HistoryNet.

DiCaprio won best actor for his role as Glass, his first ever

Alejandro Iñárritu accepts the Oscar for best director for 'The Revenant.'
Source: 
Chris Pizzello/AP

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Philip Lewis

Philip Lewis is a programming editor at Mic. He was previously an editorial fellow for 'The Huffington Post'. He can be reached at plewis@mic.com

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