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 Rolls-Royce is investing $70 million to refurbish the aircraft, including installing 30,000 new parts. Wired, "Rolls-Royce Turns a 747 Into a Flying Lab for New Engines," 18 Oct. 2019 The Switch Lite is priced close to refurbished original Switch consoles offered by GameStop and Best Buy, making it a slightly more affordable option for those who want a new Switch. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Nintendo Switch Lite: Remaking a hit for gamers on the go," 27 Aug. 2019 So Taylor worked to refurbish the sawmill and crack down on shady sourcing. Tim Mcdonnell, National Geographic, "Cameroon’s embattled ebony trees get a lifeline—from guitar maker," 17 June 2019 The idea, Jacobs said, would be to refurbish the Black Mesa Pipeline and bring water from the Colorado River, while building another pipeline running about 20 miles to connect it to Tusayan. Ian James, azcentral, "Developer and town propose roads for hotels and hundreds of homes near Grand Canyon," 6 Sep. 2019 All of the appliances come from the U.S., are refurbished in Juarez and resold in shops like his. Washington Post, "Cross-border ties still strong despite El Paso mass shooting," 7 Aug. 2019 The Air Force’s Ground-based Strategic Deterrent aims to replace the Minuteman III with a new, unnamed missile, although there are proposals to refurbish the existing missiles and keemp them on duty. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dismantle a Nuclear Missile," 10 Apr. 2019 Shuttle buses will replace all cable car lines as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency refurbishes gearboxes, which propel the cars up and down the city’s hills. Bharbi Hazarika, Los Angeles Times, "San Francisco cable cars are shut down for repairs for 10 days," 13 Sep. 2019 Scharfman has since spent a total of $8 million refurbishing the 50,000-square-foot space and building a 20,000 square-feet addition. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "His $40 million cheese company is helping to transform a rural Wisconsin community," 15 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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Time Traveler for refurbish

Time Traveler

The first known use of refurbish was in 1611

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Refurbish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for refurbish


How to pronounce refurbish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of refurbish

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

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