A New Lease on Life – Idiom, Origin & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

A new lease on life” is a simple phrase describing the feeling we get with a fresh start or a renewed sense of purpose. You’ve probably used it at least once in your life. But are you saying it correctly? And what’s the history behind it, anyway? I’ll explain all the details of this phrase so you can use it confidently.

The Phrase a New Lease on Life Meaning

A New Lease on Life Idiom Origin Meaning

If you need a fresh start or just got out of a shady situation and are currently experiencing better times, you could say you have an optimistic new lease on life. We often use this phrase to describe the feeling of recovering from an illness, ending a toxic relationship, or starting a new career. Its intent implies a second chance or a new beginning and is usually associated with a feeling of hope or optimism.

Is “a New Lease on Life” an Idiom?

Since idioms and idiomatic phrases are words that don’t have a literal conveyance, yes, “a new lease on life” is considered an idiom. You can tell from the words “new” and “lease” how they’re used together to create an expression that means something different from their individual meanings.

What’s the Origin of “a New Lease on Life”?

There’s no root origin to pinpoint the phrase to. But it came about sometime in the 1800s when talking about a person’s improving health. It has always been used in situations where people get second chances or a second wind with something, whether it’s medicine, a new home, a new baby, etc.

Is It ‘New Lease of Life’ or ‘New Lease on Life’?

New Lease on Life and New Lease of Life Ngram
New Lease on Life and New Lease of Life Usage Trend.

Actually, it’s both! “A new lease of life” and “a new lease on life” are both technically correct phrases that you can use. “A new lease of life” is the older version of the two and was even more popular at one point, but it’s still widely used in other parts of the world, like Australia and the UK. But use the version with “on” rather than “of” if you’re writing or talking to an American audience.

What’s Another Way to Say “a New Lease on Life”?

Need some other way to express the idea of a fresh start or a renewed sense of purpose in your conversation or writing? Try some of these:

  • Second chance
  • Fresh beginning
  • Renewed energy
  • New outlook
  • Invigorated
  • Regenerated
  • Renewed

A New Lease on Life Examples in a Sentence

  • After getting the proper insulin dosage for his diabetes, my dad felt he had a new lease on life.
  • Getting out of that toxic relationship gave my best friend a new lease on life, and now she’s with a man who truly loves her.
  • Starting a new book project gave me a new lease on life after spending a year on a book I hated.
  • Having children gave me purpose and a new lease on life.

He was listed as an organ donor, and within hours, Jeff was among the four people who were granted a new lease on life thanks to Bryan’s generosity. (People Magazine)

That’s It!

I hope this guide gave you a “new lease” on the phrase! Just remember that it’s meant to be used when you have something new or some change in your life that gives you a new outlook with positive vibes.