A formal definition of the word "lease" makes a lease out to be very similar to "rent" in meaning:
Definition of LEASE
a contract by which one conveys real estate, equipment, or facilities for a specified term and for a specified rent...
a piece of land or property that is leased
a continuance or opportunity for continuance
Examples of LEASE
- They took out a five-year lease on the house.
- We hold leases on both of our cars.
But there is a problem with the second example!
When a modern American talks about leasing a car, he most likely means something completely different: a financing-like agreement, with a leasee's option to buy the asset for depreciated price at the end. In effect, they use the word "lease" to mean "Closed-end lease".
So, my questions are:
Is my impression correct that modern American colloquial usage of the verb "to lease" largely stopped meaning what the original "lease" meant and now means "Closed-end lease" (which, despite the word 'lease' in it, has significantly different attributes).
I specifically mean the verb, since as a noun any legal rental agreement document is frequently called a "lease"
If my impression is correct, is there any source that actually documents it? My googling didn't find any confirmation for the above point, despite the fact that I have not heard anyone in the last 10 years use it to imply that verb as anything other than "to enter into or hold a closed-end lease".
If that is correct, when did the phenomenon start?