What Does Redux Mean?

Erik Neilson
Erik Neilson

The word "redux" stems from the Latin verb reducere, meaning "to lead back." It’s used primarily as an adjective, and usually modifies the noun it follows.

Redux first appeared as a literary term before becoming commonly adopted to describe a wide variety of disciplines.
Redux first appeared as a literary term before becoming commonly adopted to describe a wide variety of disciplines.

As a descriptor, it means something has been revived, restored, or otherwise redone. It can be used in a number of fields, including music, art, and technology. Redux can mean something has been reexamined, redone, made better, made more relevant, or been given increased importance. This is particularly true when used in art.

History and Usage

The term was first used in 1662 in John Dryden’s Astraea Redux, followed by Anthony Tollope’s Phineas Redux in 1873. More recently, the term entered into more mainstream conversational usage following the release of John Updike’s Rabbit Redux in 1970.

In music, "redux" may be synonymous with "remastered" or even "re-mix;" any kind of enhancement or altering of the original material falls underneath the umbrella of redux.
In music, "redux" may be synonymous with "remastered" or even "re-mix;" any kind of enhancement or altering of the original material falls underneath the umbrella of redux.

While the word can be used literally to indicate an improvement on the original, it also has a secondary sarcastic usage, implying that the thing itself has been repeated without any improvement on the original. One example of this usage is a "company policy redux" – in this sense, it conveys a sense of déjà vu, and not in a good way.

It’s a term whose meaning has to be inferred from the tone of voice and the context in which it’s used.

Debatable Part of Speech

“Redux” is typically used as an adjective modifying a noun. Different from many other English adjectives, it typically comes after the noun in a sentence. This is similar to other adjectives of it’s class, like “remix”.

Many people also use the word "redux" to describe a sort of rebirth or starting-over period.
Many people also use the word "redux" to describe a sort of rebirth or starting-over period.

Folk etymology suggests that it is a combination of “redo” and “remix”, given it’s similarity in meaning. While this is not accurate given the historical documentation of the etymology of the word, its similarity with the two other words may have helped it retain staying power in our vernacular.

In more recent usage, the word has been adapted into both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it typically can stand in as a synonym for “do-over” or “redo” (e.g., “a redux of last night”). It’s use as a verb is less common, and follows the form of other nouns that get “verbed”, meaning it can take standard verbal and participial forms with normal suffixing (e.g., “reduxed” as the past participle).

Did You Know?

  • Redux is constantly evolving as a word and is acceptably used as both an adjective and a noun – it can even describe a verb.
  • Once a seldomly used term, the word "redux" is commonly found in media and popular culture references.
  • A major shift in one's life may also be referred to as a "redux," particularly if it brings them back to something from their past.

Redux in Popular Culture

Filmmakers utilize the term "redux" to highlight the fact that they are interpreting already existing works.
Filmmakers utilize the term "redux" to highlight the fact that they are interpreting already existing works.

The word "redux" has become quite popular in film and music. Francis Coppola used the term to entitle his re-release of Apocalypse Now which included materials that had been removed from the originally released version, as well as additional editing. Some musicians and music producers will describe what are normally thought of as remixes using the term as well.

"Redux" can sometimes be used as a term to describe an uneasy sense of déjà vu.
"Redux" can sometimes be used as a term to describe an uneasy sense of déjà vu.

Today, many people are familiar with the term due to the popularity of the video game Metro 2033 Redux, as well as the eponymous open-source state container for JavaScript apps. Another use of the word in recent times is in Exodus Redux, an add-on to the Kodi open-source media player software, which is of questionable legality.

"Redux" continues to grow in popularity as a term for describing a way of bringing something back, whether it be a piece of music, a novel, or even one's self.

Redux in Computer Science

Redux is also the name of a predictable state container for JavaScript apps. It is most commonly associated with React.js, but it can also be used with any other JavaScript framework or library. Fans of the technology note its predictability, as well as demonstrated ease in usage in other areas like debugging, testing, server-side rendering, and its overall maintainability.

Erik Neilson
Erik Neilson

Erik Neilson is a professional writer and editor based in Portland, ME. With 12 years of experience and a broad, diverse background, Erik provides written content of the highest quality to agencies, organizations and print/digital media outlets.

Neilson's work spans a wide range of spaces and disciplines, from copywriting in the tech, government, healthcare and energy efficiency sectors to journalism and editorial calendar development for a popular culinary arts magazine.

In his spare time, Erik enjoys cooking for friends and family, sharpening his woodworking skills and performing his original music in a live setting.

Erik Neilson
Erik Neilson

Erik Neilson is a professional writer and editor based in Portland, ME. With 12 years of experience and a broad, diverse background, Erik provides written content of the highest quality to agencies, organizations and print/digital media outlets.

Neilson's work spans a wide range of spaces and disciplines, from copywriting in the tech, government, healthcare and energy efficiency sectors to journalism and editorial calendar development for a popular culinary arts magazine.

In his spare time, Erik enjoys cooking for friends and family, sharpening his woodworking skills and performing his original music in a live setting.

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    • Redux first appeared as a literary term before becoming commonly adopted to describe a wide variety of disciplines.
      Redux first appeared as a literary term before becoming commonly adopted to describe a wide variety of disciplines.
    • In music, "redux" may be synonymous with "remastered" or even "re-mix;" any kind of enhancement or altering of the original material falls underneath the umbrella of redux.
      In music, "redux" may be synonymous with "remastered" or even "re-mix;" any kind of enhancement or altering of the original material falls underneath the umbrella of redux.
    • Many people also use the word "redux" to describe a sort of rebirth or starting-over period.
      Many people also use the word "redux" to describe a sort of rebirth or starting-over period.
    • Filmmakers utilize the term "redux" to highlight the fact that they are interpreting already existing works.
      Filmmakers utilize the term "redux" to highlight the fact that they are interpreting already existing works.
    • "Redux" can sometimes be used as a term to describe an uneasy sense of déjà vu.
      "Redux" can sometimes be used as a term to describe an uneasy sense of déjà vu.