‘New Lease of Life’: Definition, Meaning, Examples

By Carly Forsaith, updated on June 4, 2024

Wondering what the expression 'new lease of life' means? You've come to 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.

Just here to find out what it means.

Here's the short version:

  • To have a new lease of life means you get a second chance or a fresh start.

What Does 'New Lease of Life' Mean?

People and objects can both have new leases of life. It's a popular idiom that describes the concept of a second chance. This might be in the form of renewed vigor or improved health if referring to a person, or if it's an object, it could be that it's been fixed or renovated, and its shelf life, therefore, extended.

Either way, it refers to a significant and positive change or improvement in circumstances, often resulting in renewed energy, enthusiasm, or purpose. 

Another common way to say a 'new lease on life.' The preposition 'on' is used instead of 'of,' but both expressions mean the same thing.

Where Does 'New Lease of Life' Come From?

The idiom' new lease of life' originates in the concept of a lease as a legal agreement granting possession or use of property for a specified period. The term 'lease' in this context dates back to medieval England.

The figurative use of the phrase likely emerged from the idea that just as a lease can be extended to continue using property, a person can experience a metaphorical extension or renewal of their own life, bringing about positive changes or opportunities.

Up until the early 1800s, it was used solely in the context of improved health, but by the mid-1800s, its use had spread to a wide range of contexts.

While it's challenging to pinpoint the exact origin of idioms, their development often involves the gradual evolution of language and metaphorical expressions over time. 'A new lease of life' has become a widely used idiom in English to convey the idea of a fresh beginning or a second chance.

Examples in Sentences

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

After recovering from a serious illness, Sarah felt like she had been given a new lease of life, appreciating every moment.

Winning the lottery gave him a new lease of life, allowing him to pursue his dreams and make a difference in the community.

Changing careers in her mid-40s gave Jane a new lease of life, bringing excitement and fulfillment to both her professional and personal journeys.

The support group provided recovering addicts with a new lease of life, helping them rebuild and maintain sobriety.

Traveling to new countries and experiencing different cultures gave Mark a new lease of life, broadening his perspective on the world.

The old bookstore, after a renovation, got a new lease of life and became a vibrant community hub for book lovers.

The classic car restoration project breathed a new lease of life into the vintage vehicle, making it shine like new.

Upcycling furniture can give old pieces a new lease of life, transforming them into stylish and functional additions to a home.

The abandoned factory, now converted into an art studio, has received a new lease of life as a creative space for local artists.

Joining the prestigious music academy gave the young talent a new lease of life.

Other Ways to Say 'New Lease of Life'

There are plenty of other ways to say someone or something has been given a second chance at life. They're great to use if you're looking for alternative phrases.

Here are some of them:

  • Fresh start
  • Revitalization
  • Renewed vigor
  • Second chance
  • Rejuvenation
  • Rebirth
  • Renewed energy

Concluding Thoughts

That concludes this article about this popular idiom. To summarize, when something has a 'new lease of life,' it means it has found a renewed vigor or been given a chance at a fresh start.

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

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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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