re·​fec·​tion | \ ri-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce refection (audio) \

Definition of refection

1 : refreshment of mind, spirit, or body especially : nourishment
2a : the taking of refreshment
b : food and drink together : repast

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Whether you sit down for nourishment or sustenance, aliment or pabulum, a meal or a repast, you are unlikely to encounter a shortage of English words for food or the partaking of food. "Refection" is just such a word. It was first borrowed by Middle English (as "refeccioun") from Anglo-French refectiun, which in turn was derived from Latin refectio (meaning "refreshment" or "repairing"). "Refectio" comes from the verb "reficere" ("to remake, renew, or restore"), a combination of the prefix re- ("again") and the verb "facere" ("to make or do"). "Refection" is not only applied to food, however. It has been used to describe many means of restoring or refreshing one's body, and of mental and spiritual sustenance as well.

Examples of refection in a Sentence

refections at the monastery are as spartan as the surroundings
Recent Examples on the Web Josue Rivas is documenting how Native Americans are reminding us of the importance of refection and how to live on Earth. Nikola Tamindzic, National Geographic, "Mastering Zoom photography in a tough time," 12 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of refection

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for refection

Middle English refeccioun, from Anglo-French refectiun, from Latin refection-, refectio, from reficere to restore, from re- + facere to make — more at do

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The first known use of refection was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Refection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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re·​fec·​tion | \ ri-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce refection (audio) \

Medical Definition of refection

1 : satisfaction of hunger and thirst
2a : the eating of feces especially by the animal producing them
b : spontaneous recovery of vitamin-depleted animals on a high starch diet presumably resulting from consumption of feces enriched with vitamins synthesized by intestinal bacteria

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