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.
First Known Use of refurbish
REFURBISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of refurbish for English Language Learners
: to repair and make improvements to (something, such as a building)
Seen and Heard
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