"act of renewing or forming anew," 1680s, from renew (v.) + -al (2). Specific meaning "urban redevelopment" is attested by 1965, American English. An earlier noun was simply renew (early 15c., reneue).
late 14c., reneuen, "make (something) like new, refurbish; begin (an activity) again; replenish, replace with a fresh supply; restore (a living thing) to a vigorous or flourishing state," also figurative, of spiritual states, souls, etc.; from re- "again" + Middle English newen, neuen "resume, revive, renew" (see new). A Latin-Germanic hybrid formed on analogy of Latin renovare. From early 15c. as "be restored, flourish once more." Related: Renewed; renewing.
suffix forming nouns of action from verbs, mostly from Latin and French, meaning "act of ______ing" (such as survival, referral), Middle English -aille, from French feminine singular -aille, from Latin -alia, neuter plural of adjective suffix -alis, also used in English as a noun suffix. Nativized in English and used with Germanic verbs (as in bestowal, betrothal).
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Definitions of renewal from WordNet
the conversion of wasteland into land suitable for use of habitation or cultivation;