having the power to restore freshness, vitality, energy, etc.: a refreshing nap.
pleasingly fresh or different: a refreshing lack of pretense.

Origin of refreshing

First recorded in 1570–80; refresh + -ing2
Related formsre·fresh·ing·ly, adverbre·fresh·ing·ness, nounun·re·fresh·ing, adjectiveun·re·fresh·ing·ly, adverb



verb (used with object)

to provide new vigor and energy by rest, food, etc. (often used reflexively).
to stimulate (the memory).
to make fresh again; reinvigorate or cheer (a person, the mind, spirits, etc.).
to freshen in appearance, color, etc., as by a restorative.
  1. to access (the most recent version of a web page) from the Internet instead of from the cache: I refreshed the page to see the current stock price before executing my online trade.
  2. to display (an image) repeatedly, as on a CRT, in order to prevent fading.
  3. to read and write (the contents of dynamic storage) at intervals in order to avoid loss of data.

verb (used without object)

to take refreshment, especially food or drink.
to become fresh or vigorous again; revive.

Origin of refresh

1325–75; Middle English refreschen < Middle French refreschir, Old French. See re-, fresh
Related formsre·fresh·ful, adjectivere·fresh·ful·ly, adverbun·re·freshed, adjectivewell-re·freshed, adjective

Synonyms for refresh

Antonyms for refresh Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refreshing

Contemporary Examples of refreshing

Historical Examples of refreshing

  • It is sweet and refreshing to pursue our old subjects of discourse.

  • There was a refreshing novelty in this case, where one of themselves was the culprit.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The Road-Runner ducked once or twice by way of refreshing his memory.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The butter, cool from the rock cellar, was of a refreshing yellow hue.

  • "You do not know how refreshing it is, child," as she handed back the empty glass.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

British Dictionary definitions for refreshing



able to or tending to refresh; invigorating
pleasantly different or novel
Derived Formsrefreshingly, adverb



(usually tr or reflexive) to make or become fresh or vigorous, as through rest, drink, or food; revive or reinvigorate
(tr) to enliven (something worn or faded), as by adding new decorations
(tr) to stimulate (the memory)
(tr) to replenish, as with new equipment or stores
computing to display the latest updated version (of a web page or document); reload
Derived Formsrefreshful, adjective

Word Origin for refresh

C14: from Old French refreschir; see re-, fresh
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 refreshing

1570s, present participle adjective from refresh (v.). Mental or spiritual sense is attested from 1690s. Related: Refreshingly.



late 14c., from Old French refreschier "refresh, renew" (12c.; Modern French rafraîchir), from re- "again" (see re-) + fresche "fresh" (Modern French frais), from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German frisc "fresh," see fresh (adj.)). Related: Refreshed; refreshing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

refreshing in Medicine




To cause to recuperate; revive.
To renew by stimulation.
To pare or scrape the edges of a wound to promote healing.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.