burnish

verb
bur·​nish | \ ˈbər-nish \
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

My February 2017 Collection was inspired by a nomadic spirit, an exotic sophistication contrasting pure shapes with rustic textures, shades of the desert and burnished gold, and artful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ralph Lauren Orchid-Filled Show Set is Open to the Public," 16 Feb. 2017 When Harvey sprinted out to the mound to start the ninth inning and burnish his legend, Citi Field erupted. John Walters, Newsweek, "Let's Goat Mets! New York Loses the World Series," 2 Nov. 2015 Frozen rime lusters the grass; the sun, round as an orange and orange as hot-weather moons, balances on the horizon, burnishes the silvered winter woods. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "An Ode to Holiday Companionship," 21 Dec. 2018 During the visit, Cruz burnished his space credentials, noting that nearly full funding for the commercial crew program by Congress coincided with his selection as chairman of the Senate committee that oversees NASA in 2015. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA doesn’t have the funds to get to Mars alone, Ted Cruz says," 7 Aug. 2018 In any case, all the off-court action should burnish James’ already sizable fortune, as will James’ new contract. James F. Peltz, latimes.com, "Lakers look to King James' golden marketing touch," 3 July 2018 Manafort burnished their image at home with sharp rhetoric and in the U.S. with talk of working together and supporting NATO. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "Virginia judge rules against Paul Manafort, will let fraud case continue," 26 June 2018 In light of that, certain detailed decisions about burnishing the bronze rather than leaving it rustic were critical. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Curator meets artist: Picking pieces for Richard Rezac's solo show," 26 Apr. 2018 Hunt, 59, is hoping to capitalize on Brown’s desire to burnish his gubernatorial legacy during his last two months in office. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "Billionaire Boys Club’s Joe Hunt seeks cut in life sentence," 23 Oct. 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

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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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