turn over a new leaf, to

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Related to To turn over a new leaf: To bury the hatchet, without a hitch, shake like a leaf

turn over a new leaf

To change one's behavior, usually in a positive way. Jason has really turned over a new leaf—he hasn't been in the slightest bit of trouble in months.
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

turn over a new leaf

Fig. to begin again, fresh; to reform and begin again. (Fig. on turning to a fresh page. The leaf is a page—a fresh, clean page.) I have made a mess of my life. I'll turn over a new leaf and hope to do better. Why don't you turn over a new leaf and surprise everyone with your good characteristics?
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turn over a new leaf

Make a fresh start, change one's conduct or attitude for the better, as in He promised the teacher he would turn over a new leaf and behave himself in class. This expression alludes to turning the page of a book to a new page. [Early 1500s]
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

turn over a new leaf

COMMON If someone has turned over a new leaf, they have started to behave in a better way than before. Note: The `leaf' in the last two expressions is a page of a book. While Eddie has turned over a new leaf, his brother can still be spotted in the bars along Sunset Strip. Both men have agreed to turn over a new leaf in their relations with each other. Compare with turn the page.
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

turn over a new leaf

improve your conduct or performance.
The leaf referred to here is a page of a book. The phrase has been used in this metaphorical sense since the 16th century, and while it now always means ‘change for the better’, it could previously also mean just ‘change’ or even ‘change for the worse’.
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

turn over a new ˈleaf

change your way of behaving and start a better life: This is a new project to help ex-prisoners turn over a new leaf.
See also: leaf, new, over, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

turn over a new leaf, to

To make a new start; to improve one’s conduct or outlook. The leaf in question means the page of a book, and the term dates from the sixteenth century. Sometimes “new” was omitted, as in John Heywood’s Proverbs (1546): “Naie she will tourne the leafe.” But Roger Ascham already had the modern version (The Scholemaster, 1570): “Except soch men thinke them selves wiser than Cicero . . . they must be content to turne a new leafe.”
See also: new, over, turn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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