burnish

verb
bur·​nish | \ ˈbər-nish How to pronounce burnish (audio) \
burnished; burnishing; burnishes

Definition of burnish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make shiny or lustrous especially by rubbing burnish leather burnishing his sword
b : polish sense 3 attempting to burnish her image
2 : to rub (a material) with a tool for compacting or smoothing or for turning an edge pottery with a smooth burnished surface

burnish

noun

Definition of burnish (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from burnish

Verb

burnisher noun
burnishing adjective or noun

Synonyms for burnish

Synonyms: Verb

buff, dress, furbish, gloss, grind, polish, rub, shine, smooth, smoothen

Synonyms: Noun

gloss, luminance, luster (or lustre), polish, sheen, shine

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Examples of burnish in a Sentence

Verb

burnished the floor of the ballroom to a soft luster

Noun

after some much-needed polishing, the silver tea set had a brilliant burnish

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the end the company—no doubt in an effort to burnish its public image—allowed Popular Mechanics unprecedented access to facilities in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Michael J. Mooney, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Koch Brothers' Industrial Empire," 9 Oct. 2015 Along with Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire and Ricky Roma of Glengarry Glen Ross, Pale belongs in the pantheon of characters that can burnish the legacy of a young actor. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 At its peak, NBT hired Hollywood actor Bruce Willis to burnish its image. Max Colchester And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Hiding Russian Money Was Easy. Quitting Was Harder.," 4 Aug. 2018 Global stocks recovered from last week’s risk-asset rout, while a weaker dollar burnished the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency. Sharon Cho, Bloomberg.com, "Oil Rises as Slower U.S. Stockpile Gain Adds to Risk-Asset Cheer," 15 Feb. 2018 His extravagant fashion shows encompassed everything from a floral fantasy to a faux street protest, burnishing the halo around the label. Andrea Felsted, The Seattle Times, "Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy is more than just Chanel suits," 19 Feb. 2019 There was only the house red, the house white and maybe a rosé or sparkling, too, from some unnamed producer in some unnamed place, chosen to build up the restaurant’s bottom line, not to burnish the restaurant’s reputation. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Why You Should Consider the House Wine," 17 Oct. 2018 At the Paris Motor Show, European carmakers are showcasing electric vehicles to burnish their reputations as technology leaders and to compete with Tesla. David Mchugh, The Seattle Times, "Climate goals mean Europe will overtake U.S. in electric cars," 2 Oct. 2018 David Davis’s image as an ex-SAS reservist with a can-do attitude and endless ability to overcome adversity was burnished on Sunday as the Brexit secretary did a BBC interview while suffering from food poisoning. Emma Ross-thomas, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Bulletin: Blair and the Abyss," 26 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perhaps the open roasting caused the sugar to caramelize, adding a slightly bitter burnish that mitigated the awful sweetness. Mimi Sheraton, The Seattle Times, "Sweet sorrow: A food critic wants maple syrup to die," 25 Sep. 2018 The reds of radishes and tomatoes, the burnish of crisped bacon and bright greens of beans and hardy lettuces showed through milky dressings that coated each piece. Bonnie S. Benwick, charlotteobserver, "You don’t need romaine lettuce to make a great chopped salad | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 A renovation, completed in late 2015, with updates this spring and summer to some of its signature restaurants, adds a new burnish to this destination, just as Mexico City itself is becoming a must-go spot, especially for the international jet set. Melena Ryzik, New York Times, "In Mexico City, a Beacon of Luxury Shines Brighter," 7 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burnish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of burnish

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for burnish

Verb and Noun

Middle English burnischen, from Anglo-French burniss-, stem of burnir, alteration of Old French brunir, literally, to make brown, from brun

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Statistics for burnish

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for burnish

The first known use of burnish was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for burnish

burnish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of burnish

formal : to make (something, such as metal or leather) smooth and shiny by rubbing it

burnish

verb
bur·​nish | \ ˈbər-nish How to pronounce burnish (audio) \
burnished; burnishing

Kids Definition of burnish

: to make shiny

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More from Merriam-Webster on burnish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burnish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burnish

Spanish Central: Translation of burnish

Nglish: Translation of burnish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burnish for Arabic Speakers

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