What is a better choice between the words {1} Rendition and {2} Rendering?
For a reviewer of a piece of drama or music, which word is appropriate?

If we want to consider parts of speech:

  1. Rendition NOUN the performance or version of a piece of music or drama; The particular way in which it is performed.

  2. Rendering NOUN the performance of a piece of music, a role in a play etc; the particular way in which something is performed. SYNONYM INTERPRETATION,rendition: Her dramatic rendering of Lady Macbeth.

Both seem to be of the same meaning and same part of speech (from New Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary).

  • 1
    "Interpretation" is more common for the uses you refer to. Although you can use "rendition" for an individual performance of a single song, it's unlikely that you'd use either "rendering" or "rendition" in a review in any other way. You might technically be able to use "rendering" for the score or script when someone rewrites someone else's work, but save that for a sarcastic bad review.
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


Definitely rendition. I defy anyone with experience in the kitchen to hear "rendering" and not picture the cellist simultaneously bowing and heating chicken fat over a low fire.

  • 2
    I defy anyone with experience in graphics processing to hear "rendering" and not picture "picture making"! :) Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 14:20
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers -- I myself have a lot more experience with graphics processing than with making schmaltz, but the latter is lot funnier to imagine someone doing the latter on stage. Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 14:28
  • I have a good chunk of education and professional experience with both types of rendering! From a long-running side gig as a nightclub bouncer, I also associate it with the local emergency responders saying “[…] rendering/rendered them unconscious” over the radio. (Nothing I did! I was never that careless, vindictive, or unlucky.) I'm not sure if the verbal uniformity is a cultural artifact or deliberate protocol for accuracy/cognitive load reduction/etc. I’d guess a bit of both. Anecdote aside, I was unsure enough about the distinction to google it while writing some interface blurbs.
    – ChefAndy
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 15:37
  • (To be clear, I'm working on software that renders webpages. It will not extract liquid fat from solid fat, and certainly won't knock someone out.)
    – ChefAndy
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 15:42

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