Word of the Day


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1. the process of starting something again after a pause

2. an arrangement for something to continue for a longer period of time

3. a process of improving, repairing, or making something more successful

Origin and usage

The noun renewal is derived from the verb renew, which was first used in English towards the end of the 14th century in one of the translations of the Bible made under the direction of John Wycliffe. The noun came along much later, at the beginning of the 17th century. The verb renew is formed by combining the prefix re- with the adjective new, and thus means ‘to make new again’. Renewal is a description of this process or an example of it happening.


The New Year for many is a time of renewal, when we think about our lives up to now and how they might develop in the future. Many people use this time to make resolutions about how they are going to live and behave from now on, in the hope that this will lead to improvements in their levels of heath, wealth and happiness. January is in many places the coldest time of year and outward signs of physical renewal are hard to detect: the days are growing ever so slightly longer and the first spikes of spring bulbs may be start to be seen above the surface of the soil, but the more obvious signs of renewal that come with the spring are still a long time away.


“In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.”
(Isabel Allende)

Related words

beginning, start, introduction

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

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