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

Dove explained that both are older, eight-foot levees that haven’t yet been refurbished to the Morganza to the Gulf project’s standards of 12 feet. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Vastly Improved Levee System Credited for Saving Terrebonne Parish from Hurricane Barry Floodwaters," 15 July 2019 The Abrams tanks were being refurbished in Lima, Ohio, at a plant that had been at risk for closure but remained online because of the administration's investments in defense spending. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Tanks, flyovers and fireworks: What to know about Trump's July 4th extravaganza," 2 July 2019 After the moon missions ended, the crawlers – each weighing more than 6 million pounds – were refurbished to ferry shuttles to their pads. Kevin Spear,, "Before Apollo moon rockets went 24,000 mph, they traveled less than 1 mph on crawler to launch pad," 29 June 2019 All are completely original and refurbished by the great Siegfried himself, and his son now keeps them going. National Geographic, "Memorable Moments on Europe’s Rivers with Cruise Director Richard Grey," 12 June 2019 All the fireplace mantels, medical cupboards and wood trim have been refurbished. Inga Saffron,, "This building on the Delaware River saved immigrant lives for 95 years. Now it’s been rescued by Tinicum Twp. | Inga Saffron," 4 June 2019 Over seven years, Vasquez bought from Chinese suppliers old, used and previously discarded integrated circuits that had been refurbished and marked with counterfeit logos, prosecutors said. Julia Sclafani,, "Owner of Costa Mesa company sentenced to prison for selling counterfeit electronic parts," 4 June 2019 The state would pay 95% of the cost of refurbishing county facilities or building new ones. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The plan to close Wisconsin's problem-plagued Lincoln Hills teen prison hits obstacles," 16 Feb. 2018 Most of what remains of the company, which had been losing customers and lacked cash to refurbish its fleet, will be liquidated through the coming auction process. ... Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "NEMF Prepares for Six-Week Bankruptcy Auction," 16 May 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

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to complain fretfully

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