[ 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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use furbish in a sentence

  • After dinner into London and bought some books, and a belt, and had my sword new furbished.

  • She furbished up her wedding gown and made engagements to sing at parlor entertainments.

    Southern Hearts | Florence Hull Winterburn
  • His mother marveled why Saul furbished himself up so carefully that evening.

    The Incendiary | W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • They had brushed their clothes, furbished their arms, and put on the best possible appearance.

    The Bastonnais | John Lesperance
  • But as there was nothing to prevent the petty officers going, they all furbished up and started, taking us two boys with them.

    The Log of a Sea-Waif | Frank T. Bullen

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