late 14c., refreshen, "comfort, strengthen, restore; make as if new again (physically or spiritually)," also "provide shelter and refreshment" (to a guest, etc.); from Old French refreschier "refresh, renew" (12c.; Modern French rafraîchir), from re- "again" (see re-) + fresche "fresh" (Modern French frais), from a Germanic source (such as Old High German frisc "fresh," see fresh (adj.)).
Also from late 14c. as "restore (the body) to a good condition, reinvigorate" and in extended senses, of preparations, the memory, etc. Related: Refreshed; refreshing.
1590s, "act of resupplying, refreshment," from refresh (v.). Modern computer sense of "an act or the process of renewing data or display" is by 1967.