Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To equip with what is needed, especially to provide furniture for.
  • transitive v. To supply; give: "The story of Orpheus has furnished Pope with an illustration” ( Thomas Bulfinch).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Material used to create an engineered product.
  • v. To provide a place with furniture, or other equipment.
  • v. To supply or give.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is furnished as a specimen; a sample; a supply.
  • transitive v. To supply with anything necessary, useful, or appropriate; to provide; to equip; to fit out, or fit up; to adorn
  • transitive v. To offer for use; to provide (something); to give (something); to afford.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To provide; supply: used with with, and having a personal object: as, to furnish a family with food; to furnish a person with money for some purpose.
  • To provide for use; make or afford a provision of; supply; yield: with a thing as object: as, to furnish arms for defense; Normally furnishes the best draft-horses; this fact furnishes a strong argument against your theory.
  • To provide with what is proper or suitable; supply with anything; fit up or fit out; equip: as, to furnish a house, a library, or an expedition; to furnish the mind by study and observation.
  • Specifically In ceramics, to ornament with pieces molded separately and afterward attached to the object, as a vase with figures of flowers, or the like.
  • To provide one's self with equipment; equip one's self.
  • To provide furniture for a room or a house.
  • In racing slang, to take on flesh; improve in strength and appearance.
  • n. Provision; outfit; furniture; supply.
  • n. An obsolete variant of furnace.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give something useful or necessary to
  • v. provide or equip with furniture

Etymologies

Middle English furnisshen, from Old French fournir, fourniss-, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English furnysshen, from Old French furniss-, stem of certain parts of furnir, fornir (Modern French fournir), from Germanic, from Frankish *frumjan (“to complete, execute”), from Proto-Germanic *frumjanan (“to further, promote”), from Proto-Indo-European *promo- (“front, forward”). Cognate with Old High German frumjan ("to perform, provide"), Old High German fruma ("utility, gain"), Old English fremu ("profit, advantage"), Old English fremian ("to promote, perform"). More at frame, frim. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Would the possession of the document as written, along with the original document as it appeared in code, furnish an individual with the necessary information to break the code?

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • It cost $18 million to design, build and furnish, which is about $3 million more than the average for the newly built branches.

    One of the best things for D.C. in decades

  • Can even the Muses of burlesque and slang furnish such an instance?

    Notes and Queries, Number 53, November 2, 1850

  • These novices have yet to learn that fluency of speech and beauty of expression furnish no test of gospel ministry; for although it may be conveyed in 'the words which man's wisdom teacheth,' if it be not in the demonstration of the spirit and of power, 'it is utterly worthless in the Divine sight.

    Memoirs of Samuel M. Janney,

  • And it is only when this illusion is created in the theatre, that it is possible for the public to enjoy that vicarious experience of life, to furnish which is the one great function of the drama.

    Our Responsibility to the English Speaking Theatre

  • Sam wants him to "furnish" him, -- i.e., to advance him food and clothing for the year, and perhaps seed and tools, until his crop is raised and sold.

    The Souls of Black Folk

  • He notices conjugal relations among them, such as furnish richest home blessings.

    India, Its Life and Thought

  • On the other three it showed itself just sufficiently to "furnish" the building and diversify its aspect without in any way encumbering it.

    A History of Art in Chaldæa & Assyria, v. 1

  • In determining what course to pursue in such a contingency, the Surgeon must follow the light of his own judgment, as no general rules can be established on the subject, and each case prevents features sui generis such as furnish the clue to the proper method of treatment.

    An Epitome of Practical Surgery, for Field and Hospital.

  • I must add that Charles Lloyd must 'furnish' his own bed-room.

    Biographia Epistolaris, Volume 1.

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