noun var·nish \ˈvär-nish\

: a liquid that is spread on a surface and that dries to form a hard, shiny coating

: the hard, shiny coating that is produced by varnish

Full Definition of VARNISH

a :  a liquid preparation that when applied to a surface dries to form a hard lustrous typically transparent coating
b :  the covering or glaze given by the application of varnish
c (1) :  something that suggests varnish by its gloss
(2) :  a coating (as of deposits in an internal combustion engine) comparable to varnish
:  outside show :  1gloss
chiefly British :  a liquid nail polish
var·nishy \-ni-shē\ adjective

Examples of VARNISH

  1. She accidentally scratched the varnish.

Origin of VARNISH

Middle English vernisch, from Anglo-French vernis, from Old Italian or Medieval Latin; Old Italian vernice, from Medieval Latin veronic-, veronix sandarac
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with VARNISH



: to cover (something) with varnish

Full Definition of VARNISH

transitive verb
:  to apply varnish to
:  to cover or conceal (as something unpleasant) with something that gives an attractive appearance :  2gloss
var·nish·er \ˈvär-ni-shər\ noun

First Known Use of VARNISH

14th century


noun var·nish \ˈvär-nish\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of VARNISH

:  any of various liquid preparations that when spread and allowed to dry on a surface form a hard lustrous typically transparent coating and that include some used in dentistry to line deep cavities in order to protect the pulp of a tooth
varnish transitive verb


Next Word in the Dictionary: varnished willowPrevious Word in the Dictionary: varnashramaAll Words Near: varnish
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears