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[fur-nish] /ˈfɜr nɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to supply (a house, room, etc.) with necessary furniture, carpets, appliances, etc.
to provide or supply (often followed by with):
The delay furnished me with the time I needed.
paper pulp and any ingredients added to it prior to its introduction into a papermaking machine.
Origin of furnish
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English furnisshen < Old French furniss-, long stem of furnir to accomplish, furnish < Germanic; compare Old High German frumjan to provide
Related forms
furnisher, noun
half-furnished, adjective
overfurnish, verb (used with object)
prefurnish, verb (used with object)
refurnish, verb (used with object)
self-furnished, adjective
semifurnished, adjective
underfurnish, verb (used with object)
unfurnished, adjective
well-furnished, adjective
Can be confused
refinish, refurbish, refurnish.
1, 2. rig, outfit, deck out. Furnish, appoint, equip all refer to providing something necessary. Furnish emphasizes the idea of providing necessary or customary services or appliances in living quarters: to furnish board; a room meagerly furnished with a bed, desk, and a wooden chair. Appoint (now found only in well-appointed ) means to furnish completely with all requisites or accessories or in an elegant style: a well-appointed house. Equip means to supply with necessary materials or apparatus for some service, action, or undertaking; it emphasizes preparation: to equip a vessel, a soldier. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for refurnish
Historical Examples
  • Those who cannot refurnish, endeavor to make their establishments look as fresh and new as possible.

  • "It will just redeem my diamonds, and refurnish the house," said Lady Frances.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It is, of course, not always possible to refurnish a room when it is redecorated.

    The Decoration of Houses Edith Wharton
  • He was determined to refurnish the drawing-room and also the bedroom in which Florence was destined to sleep.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family Anthony Trollope
  • So he ordered his servants to make great preparations for her coming, and to refurnish the palace.

  • By selling the pearls I can refurnish the house, have the grounds restored to their original beauty, and live as I formerly did!

    The Wishing Well Mildred A. Wirt
  • We could refurnish, and make it perfect; whereas nothing can be done to this place, so inconveniently built and buried in trees.

    The Three Brides Charlotte M. Yonge
  • In those days if you wanted to be smart, you bought a new carpet and curtains: now you "refurnish the drawing-room."

    Wings and the Child E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • After dinner we went up to the littlest drawing-room—the one mother wanted for so long to refurnish prettily.

    The Girls and I Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
  • We can refurnish that extra room that adjoins Laurie's suite and let Mr. Hazen and the boys have that entire wing of the house.

    Ted and the Telephone Sara Ware Bassett
British Dictionary definitions for refurnish


verb (transitive)
to provide (a house, room, etc) with furniture, carpets, etc
to equip with what is necessary; fit out
to give; supply: the records furnished the information required
Derived Forms
furnisher, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French fournir, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German frummen to carry out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refurnish



mid-15c., from Middle French furniss-, present participle stem of furnir "furnish, accomplish," from Old French fornir (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *fornire, alteration of *fromire, from West Germanic *frumjan "forward movement, advancement" (cf. Old High German frumjan "to do, execute, provide"), from Proto-Germanic *fram- "forwards" (see from). Meaning "to provide" (something) is from 1520s. Related: Furnished; furnishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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