[ fur-bish ]
See synonyms for furbish on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. 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.

  2. to polish.

Origin of furbish

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

Other words from furbish

  • fur·bish·er, noun
  • un·fur·bished, adjective

Words Nearby furbish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use furbish in a sentence

  • Also folks cannot neglect their cleanliness and then furbish themselves up in a day.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel | Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He found everything but what he wanted most—the code book, by which he could furbish up on dots and dashes.

    The Wreck of the Titan | Morgan Robertson
  • The men were halted outside the town and given time to furbish themselves up for the occasion.

  • It only induces Guido to furbish up his tools for a fresh assault.

    The Browning Cyclopdia | Edward Berdoe
  • Breakfast was a half-hour later, and when that was over there was nothing much to do but furbish up for church.

    Left Half Harmon | Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for furbish


/ (ˈfɜːbɪʃ) /

  1. to make bright by polishing; burnish

  2. (often foll by up) to improve the appearance or condition of; renovate; restore

Origin of furbish

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

Derived forms of furbish

  • furbisher, noun

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