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 refurbishment (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

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 former Brentwood Bowl on El Camino Real in South San Francisco is being refurbished and spruced up into what is now called Hometown Bowl. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: Weekend mornings on the levee: ‘Tour de Shoreview’," 4 Sep. 2019 It’ll be refurbished and spinning on-site along with the classic roller coaster, giant slide, toddler-friendly mini-mobiles, bumper boats and more cheap family fun. John Wenzel, The Know, "Love horsesand EDM? Get a little of both at this weekend’s PoloFest," 30 Aug. 2019 Handy said refurbishing the center for the temporary use would cost about $300,000. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "H.B. police chief: Rodgers Seniors’ Center could be officers’ temporary home during HQ modernization project," 16 Aug. 2019 In 2013, the team behind Portland’s hip Ace Hotel and new hospitality brand, Mighty Union, bought the down-on-its-luck place and refurbished it, giving it a scout camp feel right out of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Alec Scott, Sunset Magazine, "Lake Effect: On Reviving a Family Tradition with Your Closest Friends," 22 Jan. 2018 While the main locker rooms are being renovated, ACAC has secondary locker rooms for patrons to use; after the first set is renovated, Henry said the secondary set will be refurbished, too. Cody Boteler,, "Atlantic Coast Athletic Club in Timonium nears completion of $2 million renovation," 28 Aug. 2019 Musk's rocket company stands alone in its ability to guide a first-stage booster, by far the largest and most expensive portion of the rocket, back to a landing pad so it can be refurbished and used again on future orbital missions. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX's Starhopper prototype soars in 150-meter 'hop test'," 28 Aug. 2019 All you party people should know that the Al Hirschfeld Theater has been refurbished as an opulent pleasure palace, wherein decadence comes without hangovers. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages," 25 July 2019 Trump recalled his visit earlier this year to a plant in Lima, Ohio, where M1A1 Abrams tanks are refurbished. Darlene Superville, Twin Cities, "Trump says tanks will be part of his July Fourth celebration," 2 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near refurbish



refunding bond





Statistics for refurbish

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for refurbish

The first known use of refurbish was in 1611

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English Language Learners Definition of refurbish

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

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Comments on refurbish

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


concealment of treason or felony

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