‘Brand New’: Definition, Meaning, Examples

By Carly Forsaith, updated on May 7, 2024

Are you wondering what the expression' brand new' means? If so, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll explore the meaning of this popular idiom, its possible origins, and how to use it in a sentence.

If you want to know what it means, here's the short version:

  • Something that is 'brand new' is entirely new and not yet used. Or, it can refer to an idea or person recently introduced into a context.

What Does 'Brand New' Mean?

'Brand new' is an idiom, but it's pretty easy to figure out what it means. It's simply used to refer to something completely new, unused, and in pristine condition.

It often refers to items not previously owned, worn, or used, indicating that they are fresh from the manufacturer or store and have not undergone any wear or damage.

For example, if someone has just bought a car that has not been used by anyone else before, they might say:

I just bought a brand new car in preparation for the new baby.

The opposite of a brand-new car would be a second-hand car. Second-hand items are cheaper but have been owned and used by someone else before.

But 'brand new' doesn't only refer to things; it can also describe an idea, concept, or person.

For example, if the organization you work at recently had a change in management, you might say:

They've just brought in a brand-new vice president to shake things up.

Some variants that have been used over the years include:

  • fire-new
  • bran-new
  • span-new
  • brand spanking new (this one is still used nowadays)

'Brand new' is a compound adjective, meaning it's an adjective comprising two words. There's one rule you should be aware of when it comes to compound words: a compound word should be hyphenated if it precedes the noun it modifies and open if it follows it. Let me use my earlier example to illustrate:

The car was brand new.
They got a brand-new car.

In the second sentence, the compound adjective 'crystal clear' precedes the noun' instructions,' which it modifies, so it needs a hyphen.

Where Does 'Brand New' Come From?

The idiom' brand new' has a history dating back several centuries. The word brand in this context doesn't refer to a product brand but originates in the Old English word brand, meaning fire or flame. So originally, the expression' brand new' referred to something fresh off the fire.

In fact, 'fire new' used to be a common way of saying the same thing and is a term often found in literature, including repeated uses by Shakespeare. One example is in his 1592 play Richard 3:

Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current. 

The connection between fire and the concept of newness likely comes from the idea of forging or creating something new by the intense heat of fire. Over time, 'brand new' came to signify something that is freshly made or created, untouched by previous use or wear. The term has persisted in English, maintaining its original sense of newness and lack of prior use.

Examples in Sentences

Now that we've covered the meaning of this idiom and its origins, here are some example sentences that use it.

I just bought a brand-new laptop for my upcoming projects.

I just got a brand-new bicycle, and besides being a smooth ride, it looks absolutely stylish with its sleek design.

The team is bringing a brand-new strategy to the table for the next quarter.

The professor presented a brand-new theory that challenged existing ideas in the field.

After years of hard work, she emerged from medical school as a brand-new doctor.

They moved to a new city, eager to start a brand-new chapter in their lives.

Whomever you choose to hire for the job will have access to a brand-new set of tools and equipment.

Our office just upgraded to brand-new computers, and the speed difference is incredible.

The architect designed a brand-new building that stood out in the city skyline.

We moved into a brand-new house with all the latest amenities.

Other Ways to Say 'Brand New'

There are plenty of other ways to say something is new and unused. They're great to use if you're looking for alternative phrases.

Here are some of them:

  • Hot off the press
  • Fresh out of the oven
  • State of the art
  • Fresh
  • Mint condition
  • Unused
  • Pristine
  • Untouched
  • Just out of the box
  • Recently acquired
  • Recently purchased

Concluding Thoughts

That concludes this article about this popular idiom. To summarize, when something is 'brand new,' it means it's completely new or recently created/introduced.

Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Check out our idioms blog for other idioms, expressions, sayigsn, and more! 

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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