• synonyms


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.
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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. 2018

Related Words for furbished

shine, restore, rub, gloss, glaze, brighten, refurbish, rehabilitate, burnish, recondition, clean, renew, buff, improve

Examples from the Web for furbished

Historical Examples of furbished

  • I dare say it was sad stuff, furbished up at a moment's notice.

    The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3)

    John Morley

  • “It is such a pretty room if it were only furbished off a bit,” Tom said once.

    Our Bessie

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

  • His mother marveled why Saul furbished himself up so carefully that evening.

    The Incendiary

    W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy

  • The armourer had furbished up the old halberds of the Company, which, with the banners, are quite significant features.

    Franz Hals

    Edgcumbe Staley

  • The case is new, has the smell of new leather; and the diamond clasp looks recently furbished, even to a little chalk about it.

British Dictionary definitions for furbished


verb (tr)
  1. to make bright by polishing; burnish
  2. (often foll by up) to improve the appearance or condition of; renovate; restore
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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 furbished



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper