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

Keep scrolling for more

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 foundation recently refurbished an outdoor basketball court in East Oakland. Jane Tyska, The Mercury News, "Photos: Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry host girl’s basketball camp in Oakland," 13 Aug. 2019 Griffin notes a trend toward refurbishing existing storage sheds or garages, instead of building new. Washington Post, "From Zen to zany, backyards with style and personality," 23 July 2019 The guesthouse has a wine refrigerator stocked with top picks from the town, and its wine lounge—dating back to the 16th century, but refurbished in 2013—is an excellent place to sit and sip a glass or three. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "When in Germany, Drink Riesling," 4 Sep. 2018 Seniors can expect to spend $500 or more for a good adult tricycle, though Schuppert bought his refurbished for $350. Laura Berrios, ajc, "Silver Spokes program gets more seniors into cycling," 31 May 2018 There, the carriages will be appraised and refurbished. Martin E. Comas,, "A caravan of modern-day trucks hauls antique carriages across Seminole," 24 July 2019 His will be one of 55 homes throughout the Twin Cities refurbished this year, Prebil said. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Hearts and Hammers volunteers spruce up a World War II vet’s West St. Paul home," 20 July 2019 Baehrend was custom-building computers in middle school and then moved to refurbishing broken 3D printers. Caitlin Mullen,, "Ethan Baehrend, 18, moving 3D printer company to Texas, pitching $2 million in funding," 8 July 2019 The tower underwent a $30 million touch-up to its exterior and roofing five years ago, and now the company is refurbishing floors inside the building. Slade Rand,, "Travelers Tower celebrates 100 years as iconic anchor of Hartford’s skyline," 8 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.

See More

First Known Use of refurbish

1611, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about refurbish

Listen to Our Podcast about refurbish

Dictionary Entries near refurbish



refunding bond





Statistics for refurbish

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refurbish

The first known use of refurbish was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for refurbish



English Language Learners Definition of refurbish

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!