polish

verb
pol·​ish | \ ˈpä-lish How to pronounce polish (audio) \
polished; polishing; polishes

Definition of polish

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make smooth and glossy usually by friction : burnish
2 : to smooth, soften, or refine in manners or condition
3 : to bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state : perfect

intransitive verb

: to become smooth or glossy by or as if by friction

polish

noun (1)

Definition of polish (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a smooth glossy surface : luster
b : freedom from rudeness or coarseness : culture
c : a state of high development or refinement
2 : the action or process of polishing
3 : a preparation that is used to produce a gloss and often a color for the protection and decoration of a surface furniture polish nail polish

Polish

adjective
Pol·​ish | \ ˈpō-lish How to pronounce Polish (audio) \

Definition of Polish (Entry 3 of 4)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of Poland, the Poles, or Polish

Polish

noun (2)

Definition of Polish (Entry 4 of 4)

: the Slavic language of the Poles

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Other Words from polish

Verb

polisher noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for polish

Synonyms: Verb

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

Synonyms: Noun (1)

accomplishment, civilization, couth, cultivation, culture, refinement

Antonyms: Noun (1)

barbarianism, barbarism, philistinism

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Examples of polish in a Sentence

Verb

He spent the summer polishing his math skills. you'll need to polish your shoes with a clean rag before the performance

Noun (1)

I need more shoe polish. Did you use a wax polish on the table or an oil-based one? The movie has the polish we've come to expect from that director. He's rude and lacks polish.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And this mode still has a month to polish its way to a huge October 12 launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty battle royale beta: Surprisingly tame, surprisingly solid," 12 Sep. 2018 Step 21: Use Rubbing Compound Once the repair is flush to the rest of the paint, take the rubbing compound and polish the area with a clean, cotton cloth. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Car Paint Chips," 26 Feb. 2018 And not just any ol' bag to haul stuff in, but one that's also polished and professional. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My Marc Jacobs Tote," 3 Apr. 2019 Rather than polishing up heritage brands, New Guards identifies fresh brands, 21st-century brands, and gives them articulation. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Meet Kirin’s Peggy Gou: The DJ Turned Designer Mixing Fashion and Club Culture," 28 Feb. 2019 Kerry Pieri, Digital Fashion/Features Director Pieri is known for her polished yet edgy style (think denim with a sparkly diamonte belt), and isn't afraid to add a pop of color to an otherwise simple look. Hannah Miller, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blue Accessories Are Having a Major Moment," 14 Mar. 2019 Today in New York City, the A Star Is Born actress and October cover star stepped out in a look that felt newly pared-down and polished, and was defined by a sophisticated updo that was equal parts red carpet- and street-ready. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Lady Gaga Channels Her ‘A Star Is Born’ Character with a Sleek New Look," 5 Oct. 2018 David Webb in his store, 1975 Why is polishing the jewelry such an important step? Emily Selter, Town & Country, "Meet the Man Who Took Care of Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels," 21 May 2015 An unfinished piece by sculptor Fred Eversley contains 20 lenses in various phases of Mr. Eversley’s 14-step polishing process. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, a navy baseball cap, cross-body buckle bag by Prada, and tiny, round sunglasses finished the look off with sleek polish. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "First Kendall, Now Gigi Is Bringing Back This Grungy Shoe," 28 May 2019 Close-ups of Harry’s hands showed that his fingernails were meticulously painted with black and teal polish, adding a pop of color to his entire ensemble — truly the vibrant cherry on top of an already dramatic look. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Harry Styles Wears Gucci Sheer Blouse at the Met Gala 2019," 6 May 2019 The smell of nail polish and acetone has always been quite nostalgic for me since. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "14 Beauty Experts on the Lessons They’ve Learned From Their Mothers," 11 May 2019 Daily wear and tear lead to hangnails and snags, and polish and gel changes can weaken your tips over time. Emily Rekstis, Glamour, "10 Things You Can Do Now to Get Stronger, Healthier Nails ASAP," 20 Apr. 2019 The largest category of sausage consumed in the U.S. is cooked, including frankfurters, polish and smoked. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: More Wisconsin hunters making their own venison sausage," 17 Feb. 2018 Uptown Flash, Downtown Funk Highly enjoyable shows by Brandon Maxwell and Gypsy Sport offered a split-screen between slick polish and outsider roughness. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "U.S. Olympic Snowboarder Chloe Kim Craved Ice Cream While Competing," 12 Feb. 2018 Poor ventilation exposed patrons to a combination of odours including rose, seaweed, wine, peppermint, shoe polish and cordite. Robert Chalmers, Newsweek, "Digitising Smell: The Third Sense Is Coming to Your Phone," 11 Sep. 2014 There was a similar playful polish on the beauty front. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Prada Serves Up the Secret to Pulling Off Neon Bright Eye Makeup With Ease," 3 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polish.' 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 polish

Verb

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

Noun (1)

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Adjective

1592, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polish

Verb

Middle English polisshen, from Anglo-French poliss-, stem of polir, from Latin polire

Adjective

Pole

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Learn More about polish

Dictionary Entries near polish

polis

-polis

poli-sci

polish

Polish

polishable

Polish-American

Statistics for polish

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polish

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

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More Definitions for polish

polish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of polish

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to make (something) smooth and shiny by rubbing it
: to improve (something) : to make (something) better than it was before
: to put nail polish on (a fingernail or toenail)

polish

noun

English Language Learners Definition of polish (Entry 2 of 3)

: a substance that is rubbed on a surface to make it smooth and shiny
: a smooth and shiny surface
: good quality or style that comes from practice or effort

Polish

noun

English Language Learners Definition of Polish (Entry 3 of 3)

: the language of Poland
: the people of Poland

polish

verb
pol·​ish | \ ˈpä-lish How to pronounce polish (audio) \
polished; polishing

Kids Definition of polish

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : to make smooth and shiny usually by rubbing polish silver
2 : to improve in manners, condition, or style I took a few hours to polish my speech.
polish off
: to finish completely We polished off the whole cake.

Other Words from polish

polisher noun

polish

noun

Kids Definition of polish (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a smooth and shiny surface the polish of the table
2 : a substance for making a surface smooth and shiny shoe polish metal polish
3 : good manners : refinement

Polish

adjective
Pol·​ish | \ ˈpō-lish How to pronounce Polish (audio) \

Kids Definition of Polish

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: of or relating to Poland, the Poles, or Polish

Polish

noun

Kids Definition of Polish (Entry 2 of 4)

: the language of the Poles

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More from Merriam-Webster on polish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for polish

Spanish Central: Translation of polish

Nglish: Translation of polish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on polish

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