refuge

noun
ref·​uge | \ ˈre-(ˌ)fyüj also -(ˌ)fyüzh How to pronounce refuge (audio) \

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

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Synonyms for refuge

Synonyms: Noun

asylum, bolt-hole [chiefly British], harbor, harborage, haven, retreat, sanctuary, sanctum, shelter

Synonyms: Verb

harbor, shelter

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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

During wet winter months, more homeless people sought refuge on trains. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Homeless people were pushed from BART stations. Now they’re riding the trains," 5 Sep. 2019 Five crew members escaped by jumping off the boat and taking refuge on an inflatable boat. Washington Post, "8 killed in deadly California boat fire; dozens missing," 2 Sep. 2019 In downtown Birmingham, Alabama, a piano-playing sidewalk evangelist sought refuge from the sun with two umbrellas — one over his head and the other on his sunny side. Jeff Martin And Jay Reeves, chicagotribune.com, "Dreadful heat, humidity invade South as misery continues," 15 Aug. 2019 The performance is to be filmed for a documentary about the ongoing crisis of migrants fleeing dire situations in Libya, The Republic of Congo, Syria and other countries seeking refuge. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Brota Festival Partners With Spanish Refugee Assistance Commission to Offer Jobs," 9 Aug. 2019 Harmon said that people in the LGBTQ community seeking refuge and advice on the internet could be prevented from using those platforms. Matthew Reynolds, USA TODAY, "Father of slain journalist asks Congress for exceptions to legal protections for big tech," 9 Aug. 2019 This is commonsensical because, well, someone truly seeking refuge should flee to the first available safe place. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 25 July 2019 But for all the gifted athletes who sought refuge in the sport, Baltimore has not produced a steady parade of champions on par with those from larger neighbors such as Philadelphia and New York. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Gervonta Davis’ homecoming fight brings attention to Baltimore’s overlooked boxing history," 25 July 2019 The often-surly Ava steals a dog which leads her to its owner, Juan (Juan Cano), who’s taken refuge on a deserted stretch of beach after being hurt in a fight. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "At the MFA, it’s time for the Boston French Film Festival," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nestled on the shorelines of the Red Sea and boasting picturesque coral reefs, the resort provided a front for agents to covertly transport Beta Israel refugees to boats that would carry them to Israel. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The Red Sea Diving Resort," 1 Aug. 2019 Eventually, young Jan and his father paid smugglers to guide them to refuge in Bardejov, Slovakia. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Holocaust Survivor Rushed to Make Up for Lost Time and Lives," 2 Nov. 2018 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.

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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

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Learn More about refuge

Dictionary Entries near refuge

refry

reft

refuel

refuge

refugee

refugium

refulgence

Statistics for refuge

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refuge

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

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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 How to pronounce refuge (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on refuge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refuge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refuge

Spanish Central: Translation of refuge

Nglish: Translation of refuge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refuge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refuge

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