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

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Still, Biden proved that all his stated intentions about working with Republicans were not simply to burnish his image as a moderate with swing voters. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, 25 June 2021 Ben Jealous, a former president of the NAACP and a former partner at a firm that invested in Citizen, has helped to burnish the company's reputation, comparing it to street lights as a basic safety tool. NBC News, 2 June 2021 The public-relations fallout that accompanies failing to fulfill a green-bond program is a significant disincentive to borrowers, most of whom issue the bonds to burnish their environmental credentials, bankers who work on the transactions said. Matt Wirz, WSJ, 9 June 2021 Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, and these posthumous accounts were calculated in part to denigrate this dynastic line and burnish the reputations of its successors. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Harris has been eager to burnish her foreign policy credentials after entering office with little experience in that realm. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, 7 June 2021 The India post would allow the politically ambitious Garcetti to burnish his foreign policy credentials ahead of a possible future White House run. Michael Balsamo And Michael R. Blood, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 Parmely said charter schools sometimes burnish their academic records by selectively admitting high-performing students and discouraging those who need more help. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Mar. 2021 The three collaborators have done their part to burnish tap’s legacy. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The dark burnish brings deep savory notes, but even a hint of burn will make the whole mole bitter. Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2020 The cream turns into a rich sauce and the cheese gets bubbly-brown; the greens towards the top burnish (kale chips!) but those underneath stay silky-soft. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, 17 Dec. 2019 As each streetlamp passed, the burnish of its reflected light rolled up alongside them on the asphalt, like a dolphin curious about a new boat in her waters, and then veered away. Caleb Crain, Harper's magazine, 22 July 2019 Perhaps the open roasting caused the sugar to caramelize, adding a slightly bitter burnish that mitigated the awful sweetness. Mimi Sheraton, The Seattle Times, 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, 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, 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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Time Traveler for burnish

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near burnish

burning-wood

burnish

burnished gold

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Statistics for burnish

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burnish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burnish. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on burnish

Nglish: Translation of burnish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burnish for Arabic Speakers

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