1 [lees]
a contract renting land, buildings, etc., to another; a contract or instrument conveying property to another for a specified period or for a period determinable at the will of either lessor or lessee in consideration of rent or other compensation.
the property leased.
the period of time for which a lease is made: a five-year lease.
verb (used with object), leased, leasing.
to grant the temporary possession or use of (lands, tenements, etc.) to another, usually for compensation at a fixed rate; let: She plans to lease her apartment to a friend.
to take or hold by lease: He leased the farm from the sheriff.
verb (used without object), leased, leasing.
to grant a lease; let or rent: to lease at a lower rental.
a new lease on life, a chance to improve one's situation or to live longer or more happily: Plastic surgery gave him a new lease on life.

1350–1400; Middle English les < Anglo-French (equivalent to Old French lais, French legs legacy), noun derivative of lesser to lease, literally, let go (equivalent to Old French laissier) < Latin laxāre to release, let go. See lax

leasable, adjective
leaseless, adjective
leaser, noun
unleasable, adjective
unleased, adjective
well-leased, adjective

5. rent, charter, hire. Unabridged


2 [lees]
noun Textiles.
a system for keeping the warp in position and under control by alternately crossing the warp yarn over and under the lease rods.
the order of drawing in the warp ends.

1350–1400; Middle English lese length or coil of thread, variant of lesh leash Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lease1 (liːs)
1.  a contract by which property is conveyed to a person for a specified period, usually for rent
2.  the instrument by which such property is conveyed
3.  the period of time for which it is conveyed
4.  a prospect of renewed health, happiness, etc: a new lease of life
5.  to grant possession of (land, buildings, etc) by lease
6.  to take a lease of (property); hold under a lease
[C15: via Anglo-French from Old French lais (n), from laissier to let go, from Latin laxāre to loosen]

lease2 (liːz)
dialect open pasture or common
[Old English lǣs; perhaps related to Old Norse lāth property]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., from Anglo-Fr. les (1292), from lesser "to let, let go," from O.Fr. laissier "to let, leave," from L. laxare "loosen, open, make wide," from laxus "loose" (see lax). The verb is attested from 1560s. Related: Leased; leasing. Lessor, lessee in contract language preserves
the Anglo-Fr. form.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

lease definition

A contract that grants possession of property for a specified period of time in return for some kind of compensation.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see new lease on life.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a contract for the exclusive possession of property (usually but not necessarily land or buildings) for a determinate period or at will. The person making the grant is called the lessor, and the person receiving the grant is called the lessee. Two important requirements for a lease are that the lessee have exclusive possession (nonexclusive possession would call for a license) and that the lessor's term of interest in the property be longer than the term of the lease (a grant involving an equal term or period would comprise a conveyance or assignment, not a lease).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
When you buy something, sell it then rent it back from whom you sold it so as
  to lease to the owner who ever it may be.
Sale-and-lease-back deals, where a firm sells property and pays rent to occupy
  it, generate piles of cash.
But it is unclear whether the resumption of lease sales will affect the rate of
  oil production in the gulf or improve relations.
People can't seem to get enough of vampires lately, and zombies have a new
  lease on life.
Idioms & Phrases
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