Etymology
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rebuild (v.)

"build up again, construct what has been demolished," c. 1600 (implied in rebuilding), from re- "back, again" + build (v.). Related: Rebuilt.

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re- 

word-forming element meaning "back, back from, back to the original place;" also "again, anew, once more," also conveying the notion of "undoing" or "backward," etc. (see sense evolution below), c. 1200, from Old French re- and directly from Latin re- an inseparable prefix meaning "again; back; anew, against."

Watkins (2000) describes this as a "Latin combining form conceivably from Indo-European *wret-, metathetical variant of *wert- "to turn." De Vaan says the "only acceptable etymology" for it is a 2004 explanation which reconstructs a root in PIE *ure "back."

In earliest Latin the prefix became red- before vowels and h-, a form preserved in redact, redeem, redolent, redundant, redintegrate, and, in disguise, render (v.). In some English words from French and Italian re- appears as ra- and the  following consonant is often doubled (see rally (v.1)).

The many meanings in the notion of "back" give re- its broad sense-range: "a turning back; opposition; restoration to a former state; "transition to an opposite state." From the extended senses in "again," re- becomes "repetition of an action," and in this sense it is extremely common as a formative element in English, applicable to any verb. OED writes that it is "impossible to attempt a complete record of all the forms resulting from its use," and adds that "The number of these is practically infinite ...."   

Often merely intensive, and in many of the older borrowings from French and Latin the precise sense of re- is forgotten, lost in secondary senses, or weakened beyond recognition, so that it has no apparent semantic content (receive, recommend, recover, reduce, recreate, refer, religion, remain, request, require). There seem to have been more such words in Middle English than after, e.g. recomfort (v.) "to comfort, console; encourage;" recourse (n.) "a process, way, course." Recover in Middle English also could mean "obtain, win" (happiness, a kingdom, etc.) with no notion of getting something back, also "gain the upper hand, overcome; arrive at;" also consider the legal sense of recovery as "obtain (property) by judgment or legal proceedings." 

And, due to sound changes and accent shifts, re- sometimes entirely loses its identity as a prefix (rebel, relic, remnant, restive, rest (n.2) "remainder," rally (v.1) "bring together"). In a few words it is reduced to r-, as in ransom (a doublet of redemption), rampart, etc.

It was used from Middle English in forming words from Germanic as well as Latin elements (rebuild, refill, reset, rewrite), and was used so even in Old French (regret, regard, reward, etc.).

Prefixed to a word beginning with e, re- is separated by a hyphen, as re-establish, re-estate, re-edify, etc. ; or else the second e has a dieresis over it: as, reëstablish, reëmbark, etc. The hyphen is also sometimes used to bring out emphatically the sense of repetition or iteration : as, sung and re-sung. The dieresis is not used over other vowels than e when re is prefixed : thus, reinforce, reunite, reabolish. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
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redress (v.)

mid-14c., redressen, "to correct, reform" (a person; a sense now obsolete); late 14c., "restore, put right" (a wrong, error, offense); "repair; relieve; improve; amend," from Old French redrecier, redresier, "reform, restore, rebuild" (Modern French redresser), from re- "again" (see re-) + drecier "to straighten, arrange" (see dress (v.)). Formerly used in many more senses than currently. Related: Redressed; redressing.

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renovate (v.)

1520s, "render as good as new (materially), restore to a good condition," a back-formation from renovation or else from Latin renovatus, past participle of renovare "renew, restore." Related: Renovated; renovating.

Earlier verbs were renovelen "renew, repair, rebuild" (early 14c., from Old French renoveler); renoven "become renewed; renew," early 15c., from Old French renover from Latin renovare). Later, renovize was tried as a contraction of renovate and modernize (1933).

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refund (v.)

early 15c., refounden, refunden, "to pass on, transmit;" also "to return" (earlier "to pour back," late 14c.); from Old French refunder, refounder, refondre "restore" and directly from Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").

Century Dictionary speculates that Old French refounder in the sense "restore" was confused with refonder, refunder, "re-establish, rebuild, restore ("refound"). In some senses also influenced by fund (n.). Specifically as "to resupply with money" from 1550s. Related: Refunded; refunding.

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restitution (n.)

early 14c., restitucioun, "a making good or giving equivalent for crime, debt, injury, etc.;" late 14c., "restoration of goods, land, etc. to a former owner, repayment of money;" from Old French restitucion or directly from Latin restitutionem (nominative restitutio) "a restoring," noun of action from past-participle stem of restituere "set up again, restore, rebuild, replace, revive, reinstate, re-establish," from re- "again, to a former state" (see re-) + statuere "to set up" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm").

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bedbug (n.)

also bed-bug, "blood-sucking insect that infests beds and bedding," 1772, from bed (n.) + bug (n.).

[The bed bug] is supposed to have been first introduced to this country in the fir timber that was brought over to rebuild London after it had suffered by the great fire; for it is generally said that Bugs were not known in England before that time, and many of them were found almost immediately afterwards in the new-built houses. [the Rev. W. Bingley, "Animal Biography; or Anecdotes of the Lives, Manners, and Economy of the Animal Creation," London, 1803]
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restore (v.)

c. 1300, restoren, "to give back," also, "to build up again, repair; renew, re-establish; free from the effects of sin; bring back to a former and better state," from Old French restorer, from Latin restaurare "repair, rebuild, renew." This is from re- "back, again" (see re-) + -staurare, not attested by itself but also in instaurare "to set up, establish; renew, restore," etc.,  from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

From late 14c. as "to cure, heal, bring back to a vigorous state;" of objects, beliefs, etc., "bring back to an original state or condition," 1670s. Related: Restored; restoring.

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reform (v.)

late 14c., reformen, "to convert into or restore to another and better form" (of strength, health, firmness, etc.), from Old French reformer "rebuild, reconstruct, recreate" (12c.) and directly from Latin reformare "to form again, change, transform, alter," from re- "again" (see re-) + formare "to form" (see form (n.)).

The meaning "change (someone or something) for the better, correct, improve; bring (someone) away from an evil course of life" is recorded from late 14c.; of governments, institutions, etc., from early 15c. Intransitive sense of "abandon wrongdoing or error" is by 1580s. Related: Reformed; reforming. Reformed churches (1580s) on the European continent were usually Calvinist as opposed to Lutheran (in France they were the Huguenots). Reformed Judaism (1843) is a movement initiated in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). Reform school is attested from 1859.

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