Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To brighten by cleaning or rubbing; polish.
  • transitive verb To restore to attractive or serviceable condition; renovate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rub or scour to brightness; polish; burnish.
  • Figuratively, to clear from taint or stain; renew the glory or brightness of; renovate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To rub or scour to brightness; to clean; to burnish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To polish or burnish.
  • verb To renovate or recondition.

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

  • verb polish and make shiny

Etymologies

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

[Middle English furbishen, from Old French fourbir, fourbiss-, from Frankish *furbjan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English furbishen, from Old French furbir (stem furbiss-, "to clean, polish"), of Germanic origin, from Frankish furbjan ("to clean, polish"), from Proto-Germanic *furbijanan (“to clean”), from Proto-Indo-European *prep- (“to appear”). Cognate with Old High German furben ("to clean, cleanse, purge, sweep").

Examples

  • As we exchange these few but amiable remarks about country houses, I furbish him up and make him concrete.

    Trumbles in Fiction III

  • As we exchange these few but amiable remarks about country houses, I furbish him up and make him concrete.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Many were outraged that the firms hired to furbish the homes of the fashionable had dared to breach the bedroom, and proposed to abolish the sacramental double bed and replace it with the new “twin beds” which manufacturers were beginning to introduce.

    The Twin Bed | Edwardian Promenade

  • Alderman Daley claims Grossinger Auto needed $8.5 million in public subsidies to help it re-furbish a warehouse for its new sales and service headquarters.

    Tom Tresser: Change Comes to Washington, Will it Come to Chicago?

  • Are they so strong that they can be allowed to jeopardize the entire economy for the snail darter and the furbish lousewort?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A 230 mpg Hybrid — and It’s a Chevrolet:

  • Now if we see a bargain wheel that looks promising we can buy it for the Wheel Bank, furbish it up and have it ready to loan out or sell on at cost or a very modest profit.

    Haldane Finale and the Wheel Bank.

  • Now if we see a bargain wheel that looks promising we can buy it for the Wheel Bank, furbish it up and have it ready to loan out or sell on at cost or a very modest profit.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Please to think if you can furbish up any of these besides a novel.

    An Autobiography

  • As we exchange these few but amiable remarks about country houses, I furbish him up and make him concrete.

    The Waves

  • Yet it is true, I do not want to hurt you; only to refresh and furbish up my own belief in myself that failed at your entry.

    The Waves

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