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

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 Several former Masonic lodges in Price Hill are expected to be refurbished for community use in 2018. Forrest Sellers,, "Price Hill expected to renovate former Masonic lodges for event, retail use," 9 Jan. 2018 The Yorks moved in in 2004, and have since refurbished the property extensively. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Reception Venue Is Nothing Like Meghan and Harry's," 28 July 2018 While today, many of those original A1 audio-animatronics have been refurbished with more advanced machinery, there are still a few left in both U.S. parks. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The A1000 Is Disney's Advanced Animatronic Bringing the Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Theme Park To Life," 28 Feb. 2019 The Middle East Galleries have already been refurbished and reopened. Stephan Salisbury,, "Visit the Penn Museum's Sphinx this weekend, or wait another 4 to 6 years," 5 July 2018

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

8 Jun 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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