refuge

noun
ref·uge | \ ˈre-(ˌ)fyüj also -(ˌ)fyüzh \

Definition of refuge 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : shelter or protection from danger or distress

2 : a place that provides shelter or protection

3 : something to which one has recourse in difficulty

refuge

verb
refuged; refuging

Definition of refuge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give refuge to

intransitive verb

: to seek or take refuge

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for refuge

Synonyms: Noun

asylum, harbor, harborage, haven, retreat, sanctuary, sanctum, shelter

Synonyms: Verb

harbor, shelter

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Finding refuge

The re- in refuge means basically "back" or "backward" rather than "again;" thus, a refugee is someone who is "fleeing backward". Refuge tends to appear with certain other words: you generally "seek refuge", "take refuge", or "find refuge". Religion may be a refuge from the woes of your life; a beautiful park may be a refuge from the noise of the city; and your bedroom may be a refuge from the madness of your family.

Examples of refuge in a Sentence

Noun

hunting is strictly forbidden in the wildlife refuge

Verb

a nation with a long, honorable history of refuging political asylum seekers

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their rescue was followed a few hours later by the safe return of a medic and three SEAL divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their cramped, dry refuge. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 July 2018 The chances of monsoon rains raising water in the cave again, endangering their dry refuge and making the escape route too risky, were never far from the minds of everyone involved. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "'Hooyah': Rescuers at Thai cave prepare for final push to save players after successful extractions," 10 July 2018 Their rescue was followed a few hours later by the safe return of a medic and three SEAL divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their cramped, dry refuge. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Seattle Times, "‘Everyone is safe’ after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 10 July 2018 The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Poor Mary Shelley!," 23 May 2018 Alain Corbin, a history professor, writes from his refuge in the Sorbonne, and Erling Kagge, a Norwegian explorer, from his memories of the wastes of Antarctica, where both have tried to escape. The Economist, "People crave silence, yet are unnerved by it," 17 May 2018 The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, my refuge for the next two days, lies on the reliably dry and sunny western side of the island, where much of the landscape is dominated by otherworldly-looking black, jagged lava fields. Doug Hansen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Finding the aloha spirit in three Hawaiian Islands," 3 Apr. 2018 Toni surprises Jughead by telling him the remaining Serpents are taking refuge at the Whyte Wyrm. refinery29.com, "Riverdale Season 2, Episode 22 Recap: "Brave New World"," 17 May 2018 Several hundred people have taken refuge at churches, shelters, and with other Hawaiian residents nearby as more cracks and vents in the ground opened in residential areas. National Geographic, "Why Do So Many People Live Near Active Volcanoes?," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Last year, Chechnya was back in the headlines after reports that officials had conducted a brutal purge of gay men, sparking global outrage and prompting a coordinated international effort to grant the men refuge abroad. Washington Post, "Chechnya’s leader uses World Cup to extend his outreach to Middle East," 27 May 2018 Somehow, the sisters — ages 12, 8, 5 and 2 — made their way to refuge in Bangladesh. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "The Rohingya Suffer Real Horrors. So Why Are Some of Their Stories Untrue?," 1 Feb. 2018 On a bare stage with only two chairs and a table , Samahir Farhan portrayed before 300 people the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that refugees feel. Mahmoud Al-najjar And Gilgamesh Nabeel, USA TODAY, "Homeless, helpless refugees use theater to push for a better life in squalid Iraqi camp," 16 Sep. 2017 Groups like SIREN, an immigrant and refuge rights organization, have fielded 1,500 calls since the election. Ramona Giwargis, The Mercury News, "San Jose, Santa Clara County approve plans to protect immigrants under Trump presidency," 10 Jan. 2017 Later Monday evening, Porter and his family drove out to Powell Park to join Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and Thorns defender Kendall Johnson for a large and fun game of soccer with dozens of young immigrant and refuge children. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "Portland Timbers, Thorns, T2 players and staff volunteer in community as part of Stand Together Week," 6 June 2017 By March 2014, the island’s livable habitat — that is, the area above the high-tide mark — was the smallest ever recorded, and refuge sites for the melomys in rock caves, crevices and overhangs had begun to disappear, the report said. Michelle Innis, New York Times, "Today’s Headlines: Asia Edition," 14 June 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of refuge

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for refuge

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin refugium, from refugere to escape, from re- + fugere to flee — more at fugitive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about refuge

Dictionary Entries near refuge

refry

reft

refuel

refuge

refugee

refugium

refulgence

Phrases Related to refuge

place of refuge

take/find/seek refuge

Statistics for refuge

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refuge

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for refuge

refuge

noun

English Language Learners Definition of refuge

: shelter or protection from danger or trouble

: a place that provides shelter or protection

refuge

noun
ref·uge | \ ˈre-fyüj \

Kids Definition of refuge

1 : shelter or protection from danger or distress We took refuge in a nearby barn.

2 : a place that provides shelter or protection a wildlife refuge

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on refuge

What made you want to look up refuge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!