As the incidence of Gram-negative bacterial infections for which few effective treatments remain increases, so does the contribution of drug-hydrolyzing β-lactamase enzymes to this serious clinical problem. This review highlights recent advances in β-lactamase inhibitors and focuses on agents with novel mechanisms of action against a wide range of enzymes. To this end, we review the β-lactamase inhibitors currently in clinical trials, select agents still in preclinical development, and older therapeutic approaches that are being revisited. Particular emphasis is placed on the activity of compounds at the forefront of the developmental pipeline, including the diazabicyclooctane inhibitors (avibactam and MK-7655) and the boronate RPX7009. With its novel reversible mechanism, avibactam stands to be the first new β-lactamase inhibitor brought into clinical use in the past 2 decades. Our discussion includes the importance of selecting the appropriate partner β-lactam and dosing regimens for these promising agents. This "renaissance" of β-lactamase inhibitors offers new hope in a world plagued by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria.