From Middle English renewen, an alteration (possibly on analogy with Latin renovāre) of earlier anewen (to renew), from Old English ġenīwian (to restore; renovate; renew), equivalent to re- +‎ new. Cognate with Old High German giniuwōn (to renew), Middle High German geniuwen (to renew), Old Norse nýja (to renew).



renew (third-person singular simple present renews, present participle renewing, simple past and past participle renewed)

  1. (transitive) To make (something) new again; to restore to freshness or original condition. [from 14thc.]
  2. (transitive) To replace (something which has broken etc.); to replenish (something which has been exhausted), to keep up a required supply of. [from 14thc.]
  3. (theology) To make new spiritually; to regenerate. [from 14th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, Bible (Tyndale), Romans 12.2:
      And fassion not youre selves lyke vnto this worlde: But be ye chaunged in youre shape by the renuynge of youre wittes that ye maye fele what thynge that good yt acceptable and perfaycte will of god is.
  4. (now rare, intransitive) To become new, or as new; to revive. [15th-18thc.]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , II.2.6.ii:
      [] to such as are in fear they strike a great impression, renew many times, and recal such chimeras and terrible fictions into their minds.
    • 1997 July, “Seeking Christian interiority: An interview with Louis Dupre”, in Christian Century, volume 114, number 21, page 654:
      But Christianity was a new religious force in Augustine's day. Today, as you say, its power to integrate culture has all but disappeared. Does Christianity still have the capacity to renew?
    • 2010 September, Michael Allen, "St. Louis Preservation Fund", St. Louis magazine, ISSN 1090-5723, Vol.16, Is.9, p.74:
      Renewing neighborhoods dealing with vacant buildings badly need options other than demolition or dangerous vacant spaces.
  5. (transitive) To begin again; to recommence. [from 16thc.]
  6. (rare) To repeat. [from 17thc.]
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost:
      The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds / Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.
  7. (transitive, intransitive) To extend a period of loan, especially a library book that is due to be returned.
    I'd like to renew these three books.  Did you know that you can renew online?


Related termsEdit



renew (plural renews)

  1. Synonym of renewal

Derived termsEdit