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Etymology 1[edit]

re- +‎ fret


refret (third-person singular simple present refrets, present participle refretting, simple past and past participle refretted)

  1. (transitive) To replace the frets on (a musical instrument).
    Can you refret my guitar?

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English refreit, from Anglo-Norman refreit (response), refraindre (to sing a refrain); also Old French refreit (refrain). The Oxford English Dictionary suggests influence from an unattested Late Latin form, refrangere; compare Latin refractus (past participle). See refrain (noun), refract.

Alternative forms[edit]


refret (plural refrets)

  1. (obsolete) A refrain.
    • 1820, Samuel Weller Singer, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Prince of Denmark[1], page 136:
      Our old English term refrette, ‘the foote of the dittie, a verse often interlaced, or the burden of a song,’ was probably from refrain; or from refresteler, to pipe over again. [] ‘Refrain, the refret, burthen, or downe of a ballad.’ All this discussion is rendered necessary, because Steevens unfortunately forgot to note from whence he made the following extract,
    • 1847, E.W. Hengstenberg, J.E. Ryland, transl., Dissertations on the Genuineness of the Pentateuch[2], volume 1, page 143:
      The refret or burden of the song in ver. 6, 8, 9, 10, “Yet have ye not returned to me,” [] alludes to Deut. iv. 29(30),