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

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 The brochure offers the secrets to the entire act that Houdini spent nearly a decade polishing — for $10. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Behind the magic of Harry Houdini at the Jewish Museum of Maryland," 29 June 2018 This millennial pink, soft-touch rubber tool fits over the cap of any polish bottle and provides control and comfort so that nail polishing novices can easily paint with their dominant and non-dominant hands. Amber Kallor, Allure, "Olive & June's New Tool Made Painting My Nails at Home So Much Easier," 14 Mar. 2019 Also keeping things polished were Victoria Beckham, Léa Seydoux, and Cate Blanchett, who worked wonders in slick suiting. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "These Celebs Nailed the Art of Airport Style This Year," 28 Nov. 2018 Their hands, with very short nails polished in neutral colors, look great. Ellen Warren, chicagotribune.com, "Europe on one suitcase: How to do it right," 3 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Spring's biggest nail art trend is for anyone who's ever stood, frozen, in front of a colorful wall of nail polish. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Gradient Nails Are the Prettiest New Manicure Trend for Spring," 15 Mar. 2019 Expert tip: opt for botanical motifs in a mix of shapes, from blouson day dresses to silhouettes with a bit of sleek polish. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Honeymoon Packing List," 25 Jan. 2019 His lack of defensive polish — which could be inexperience or could be a lack of interest — probably pushes his ceiling to somewhere below that of Luka Doncic and Mo Bamba, but his floor is probably higher than either of those top prospects. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "2018 N.B.A. Draft Results: Analysis of Every Pick in Round 1," 21 June 2018 Madeline Poole recently released a collection of polishes. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Art Activist Kimberly Drew on the People, Places, and Things That Deserve Your Attention," 4 May 2018 And although there are plenty of great polish shades for spring, plus a whole season's worth of cute nail art ideas (gotta love those rainbow nails), there's one big trend that took even us by surprise: cow print. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Cow Nails Are the Most Surprisingly Cool Trend for Spring," 23 Mar. 2019 For more on-the-pulse nail trends, including the must-have colors for Spring 2019, check out our roundup on your soon-to-be favorite nail polish colors once the weather warms up. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cardi B Wore Hundreds of Swarovski Crystals on Her Nails for Her Super Bowl Commercial," 4 Feb. 2019 Breaking the unspoken rules of royal tradition, which decree non-distracting polish shades as mandatory, the Duchess of Sussex revealed a dark purple pedicure for a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem show. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Royal Quick Change Is a Lesson in Date Night Beauty," 16 Jan. 2019 Before you get your nails done, soak your nails in lemon juice to remove nail polish stains. Seventeen.com Editors, Seventeen, "50 Life-Changing Prom Beauty Tips You Haven't Heard Before," 19 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for polish

Last Updated

18 Apr 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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