[ fur-bish ]
/ ˈfɜr bɪʃ /

verb (used with object)

to restore to freshness of appearance or good condition (often followed by up): to furbish a run-down neighborhood; to furbish up one's command of a foreign language.
to polish.

Nearby words

  1. furan,
  2. furanose,
  3. furazolidone,
  4. furbearer,
  5. furbelow,
  6. furbish lousewort,
  7. furca,
  8. furcal,
  9. furcate,
  10. furcation

Origin of furbish

1350–1400; Middle English furbishen < Middle French forbiss-, long stem of forbir to polish, clean < Germanic; compare Old High German furban

Related formsfur·bish·er, nounun·fur·bished, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for furbish

British Dictionary definitions for furbish


/ (ˈfɜːbɪʃ) /

verb (tr)

to make bright by polishing; burnish
(often foll by up) to improve the appearance or condition of; renovate; restore
Derived Formsfurbisher, noun

Word Origin for furbish

C14: from Old French fourbir to polish, of Germanic origin

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

Word Origin and History for furbish



late 14c. (implied mid-13c. in surname Furbisher), from Old French forbiss-, present participle stem of forbir "to polish, burnish; mend, repair" (12c., Modern French fourbir), from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German furban "to polish"), from PIE root *prep- "to appear." Related: Furbished; furbishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper