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

Nike also faced criticism last year over over its controversial advertising campaign featuring Kaepernick, which angered some customers and sparked calls for boycotts but ultimately burnished the iconic brand's appeal to many investors. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Arizona governor yanks state money for Nike plant after company pulls "Betsy Ross flag" sneakers," 3 July 2019 Mr Trump’s effusiveness about his friendship with Mr Kim is also likely to burnish the dictator’s image internationally. Seoul, The Economist, "Donald Trump meets Kim Jong Un on the border between South and North Korea," 30 June 2019 Now, the film’s rep is about to be burnished further. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Scream Factory releasing bonkers The Blob remake on Collector's Edition Blu-ray," 27 June 2019 That's further burnished by Zac Nicholson's award-worthy cinematography, which combines sweeping vistas with lovely shot compositions -- highlighted by imaginative camera angles -- and gorgeous light design. Mike Scott, nola.com, "‘All Is True’ movie review: The year’s first real Oscar threat?," 7 June 2019 Encouraged by President Trump and hoping to burnish his image ahead of parliamentary elections in July, Mr. Abe decided to dip his toe into easing Middle East tensions, an area Japanese leaders have traditionally avoided. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "A Novice Player Gets a Painful Lesson in Middle East Peacemaking," 14 June 2019 Victory after victory burnished the young man’s reputation, bringing him acclaim all over Europe as a triumph over the old ways. National Geographic, "How Beethoven went from Napoleon’s biggest fan to his worst critic," 24 Apr. 2019 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

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

18 Jul 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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