One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To make red, to redden; specifically to cause the skin or another part of the body to turn red. Also without object. Now rare.
2with object Geology and Soil Science. To alter (a sediment, deposit, etc.) by rubefaction. Usually in pass.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). From Middle French rubifier (French rubéfier, † rubefier, 1611 in Cotgrave) to redden, to alter (a sediment) by rubefaction and its etymon classical Latin rubefacere from rubeus red + facere to make; compare -fy.
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