One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To refresh (another, oneself), especially with food or drink; to restore from weariness or fatigue. Now rare (archaic and humorous in later use).
2no object And with object. Of an animal (especially a rabbit or hare): to ingest (its own freshly passed and partially digested faeces) for redigestion.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in Hary (c1440–c1492), poet. From classical Latin refect-, past participial stem of reficere to restore, repair, to renew, to revive, to refresh, in later use after refection. Compare earlier refect and also refete.
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