verb (1)
re·​fund | \ ri-ˈfənd How to pronounce refund (audio) , ˈrē-ˌfənd \
refunded; refunding; refunds

Definition of refund

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to give or put back
2 : to return (money) in restitution, repayment, or balancing of accounts


re·​fund | \ ˈrē-ˌfənd How to pronounce refund (audio) \

Definition of refund (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of refunding
2 : a sum refunded


verb (2)
re·​fund | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈfənd How to pronounce refund (audio) \
refunded; refunding; refunds

Definition of refund (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to fund again

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Other Words from refund

Verb (1)

refundability \ ri-​ˌfən-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce refundability (audio) , (ˌ)rē-​ \ noun
refundable \ ri-​ˈfən-​də-​bəl How to pronounce refundable (audio) , (ˌ)rē-​ \ adjective

Examples of refund in a Sentence

Noun No refunds or exchanges are allowed.

First Known Use of refund

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for refund

Verb (1)

Middle English refounden, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French refunder, from Latin refundere, literally, to pour back, from re- + fundere to pour — more at found

Verb (2)

re- + fund entry 2

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Learn More about refund

Time Traveler for refund

Time Traveler

The first known use of refund was in the 15th century

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Statistics for refund

Last Updated

24 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Refund.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for refund



Financial Definition of refund

What It Is

Refund can refer to the amount that the Internal Revenue Service will pay to a taxpayer based an overpayment of estimated tax or employer withholding taxes during the year.

A refund also refers to the procedure where an issuer refinances outstanding bonds by issuing new bonds.

How It Works

During the year, a taxpayer is obligated to make estimated tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service. This may be done directly by the taxpayer or through an arrangement with the taxpayer's employer to pay that tax on his or her behalf. At the end of the year, the taxpayer files his or her tax return to the Internal Revenue Service with exemptions, deductions, and tax credits.  These may reduce the annual tax obligation and the IRS will refund the difference.

With respect to the later definition, a bond issuer may decide to reduce the interest cost or to remove a covenant imposed by the terms of a bond.  By refunding the bonds, the issuer actually issues new bonds and uses the proceeds to repay the debt service or retire the outstanding bonds of the prior issue (i.e. original bond issue being refunded).

Why It Matters

Tax refunds are an important boost for a taxpayer.  By overpaying the IRS, the taxpayer gets a sudden shot of cash; however, it is without interest.  To that end, it is important to elect to designate all eligible exemptions on employer withholdings and to accurately estimate quarterly tax payments to the IRS.

Bond refunding is an important strategy for issuers to use when the terms and conditions of a bond issue become too onerous, especially when market conditions change.  Important to note that refunded bonds are not considered part of the issuer's debt because the lien of the holders on the refunded bonds is on the deposited bond proceeds (i.e. from the refunding), and not on the issuers source of revenues to pay the original bonds.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce refund (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of refund

: an amount of money that is given back to someone who has returned a product, paid too much, etc.


re·​fund | \ ri-ˈfənd How to pronounce refund (audio) \
refunded; refunding

Kids Definition of refund

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to return (money) as repayment If you are not satisfied the purchase price will be refunded.


re·​fund | \ ˈrē-ˌfənd How to pronounce refund (audio) \

Kids Definition of refund (Entry 2 of 2)

: an amount of money that is returned as repayment

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More from Merriam-Webster on refund

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refund

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refund

Spanish Central: Translation of refund

Nglish: Translation of refund for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refund for Arabic Speakers

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