re·​fur·​bish | \ ri-ˈfər-bish How to pronounce refurbish (audio) \
refurbished; refurbishing; refurbishes

Definition of refurbish

transitive verb

: to brighten or freshen up : renovate

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Other Words from refurbish

refurbisher noun
refurbishment \ ri-​ˈfər-​bish-​mənt How to pronounce refurbish (audio) \ noun

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If you're wondering if "refurbish" implies the existence of an earlier "furbish," you are on the right track. "Furbish" was borrowed into English in the 14th century from Anglo-French furbiss-, a distant relative of an Old High German word meaning "to polish." In its earliest uses "furbish" also meant "to polish," but it developed an extended sense of "renovate" shortly before English speakers created "refurbish" with the same meaning in the 17th century. These days "refurbish" is the more common of the two words, although "furbish" does continue to be used.

Examples of refurbish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The deal also created a $1.9 billion trust to settle claims and refurbish the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Sep. 2021 SpaceX plans to refurbish and reuse Resilience for the upcoming Crew-3 mission to the ISS in 2022. Richard Tribou,, 3 Sep. 2021 Plans to demolish the silos have yet to be firmed up, but several ideas to refurbish the area have emerged. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2021 Parma Heights also recently received a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant to completely refurbish the city’s Veterans Memorial site at Greenbriar Commons. John Benson, cleveland, 20 May 2021 With the Taxpayer First Act, Lewis and his colleagues had hoped to refurbish the moribund organization and bring it into the modern era. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 18 June 2021 Canceling would still cost about $25 billion to refurbish the Minuteman III, a path the Air Force opposes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 25 June 2021 Eleven contractors combined to refurbish the busy north metro bus hub on Bass Lake Road across from Shingle Creek Crossing, where a Walmart and other smaller shops stand on the former site of the Brookdale Shopping Center. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 But this was also an exercise in score-settling, and his scathing critiques of Mr. Johnson and other officials may linger longer than his attempts to refurbish his own image. New York Times, 26 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refurbish.' 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 refurbish

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for refurbish

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The first known use of refurbish was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near refurbish

refunding bond



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Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refurbish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for refurbish



English Language Learners Definition of refurbish

: to repair and make improvements to (something, such as a building)


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