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mid-15c., "action of restoring," verbal noun from render (v.). Meaning "a translation" is from 1640s; that of "extracting or melting of fat" is from 1792. Visual arts sense of "reproduction, representation" is from 1862.
late 14c., "repeat, say again," from Old French rendre "give back, present, yield" (10c.), from Vulgar Latin *rendere (formed by dissimilation or on analogy of its antonym, prendre "to take"), from Latin reddere "give back, return, restore," from red- "back" (see re-) + comb. form of dare "to give" (see date (n.1)).
Meaning "hand over, deliver" is recorded from late 14c.; "to return" (thanks, a verdict, etc.) is attested from late 15c.; meaning "represent, depict" is first attested 1590s. Irregular retention of -er in a French verb in English is perhaps to avoid confusion with native rend (v.) or by influence of a Middle English legalese noun render "a payment of rent," from French noun use of the infinitive. Related: Rendered; rendering.
1580s, agent noun from rend (v.).