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 refurbish (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 To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland, the company saw an opportunity to not only refurbish its existing castle, but to transform it into something emblematic of Disney’s future. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Things to Know About Hong Kong Disneyland’s New Castle," 22 Dec. 2020 His company bought the old Las Vegas city hall building to refurbish as a new corporate headquarters. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Tony Hsieh, entrepreneur who made Zappos an online retail giant, dies at 46," 28 Nov. 2020 The site, which sits near Azcon Metals' recycling property, will become part of the city's larger plan to update and refurbish the area. Dee Depass, Star Tribune, "Duluth Port Authority buys Duluth Lake Port dock for $950,000," 11 Dec. 2020 Recovering the first stage was a major objective of the launch because SpaceX plans to refurbish the rocket and use if for the next Crew Dragon launch in late March. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX launches 4 astronauts to space station, beginning new era for NASA," 16 Nov. 2020 Brinshore will refurbish the adjacent and historic Cramer House, a two-story building to the south, as well as devote ground floor spaces in the finished buildings for use by Utah nonprofits. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake City gives another loan in hopes of turning this State Street pit into affordable apartments," 11 Nov. 2020 But by the mid-aughts, members of Berlin’s creative class began to settle in and refurbish these postwar buildings. Megan O’grady, New York Times, "In Berlin, Mysterious Dwellings Hidden Amid the Trees," 10 Nov. 2020 But equally important is to refurbish America’s democratic image, so tarnished by Trump and this election. Trudy Rubin, Star Tribune, "How the world views the U.S. election: Not pretty," 5 Nov. 2020 In Washington DC, Pepsi and the Wizards plan to refurbish basketball facilities at the Navy Yard as well as work with local artists to paint murals on some of the courts. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Shaquille O’Neal's experience with police shapes his new initiative with Pepsi in NBA cities," 27 Oct. 2020

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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refurbish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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