polish

verb
pol·​ish | \ ˈpä-lish \
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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inside, the house has polished concrete floors, gray granite countertops, and white walls. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Modern home offers understated indoor-outdoor living," 26 Dec. 2018 And today in Manhattan the mogul did it again, this time with an entirely new take on her signature polished updo: her honeyed lengths parted to the side, curled and thrown up high, with one strategic strand left loosely tucked. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez Proves She Has the Best Ponytail Game in Hollywood," 12 Dec. 2018 Give each section a few passes, move onto the next one, and then after having hit each of them, polish things off by giving the entire length of your muscle some more love. K. Aleisha Fetters, SELF, "Here’s What Foam Rolling Is Actually Doing When It Hurts So Good," 21 July 2018 Sake is a Japanese beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "25th Annual Japan Festival slated for April 14-15," 11 Apr. 2018 For his part, Thibaudet’s playing was incisive yet polished, a pleasure in every dimension. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "For its new artist-in-residence post, BSO should think big," 15 Mar. 2018 Perhaps most ubiquitous of all the carved creations is the alabaster grape—stones painted and polished into trompe l'oeil orbs that look good enough to eat. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Feast Your Eyes on the Next Design Must-Have: Antique Marble Apples, Bananas, and Grapes Galore," 19 Oct. 2018 Robert Mann, an airline consultant and former American Airlines executive, said windows are periodically polished to remove crazing, the formation of tiny cracks in the acrylic windows from exposure to chemicals and the sun’s rays. Mark Gillispie And David Koenig, BostonGlobe.com, "Southwest plane with cracked window diverted to Cleveland," 2 May 2018 Robert Mann, an airline consultant and former American Airlines executive, said windows are periodically polished to remove crazing, the formation of cracks in the acrylic windows from exposure to chemicals and the sun's rays. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Southwest Airlines flight diverts to Cleveland due to broken window," 2 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Glitter nail polish: so pretty to look at, such a pain to put on. Julianne Carell, Glamour, "This Genius Trick Makes Putting On Glitter Nail Polish So Much Easier," 12 Dec. 2018 There was a lot to take in during Meghan Markle's surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards last night: the vampy nail polish, the striking black dress, the ultra-dramatic spotlight in the background. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Paid a Subtle Tribute to Prince Charles's Work at the British Fashion Awards," 11 Dec. 2018 The low-budget effort can't be faulted on a technical level either, with director Cruz infusing the story's single setting with cinematic polish. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Eat Me': Film Review," 5 July 2018 Man Eating Food feels like a remnant of old YouTube, before creators learned to preen, polish, and grapple with YouTube’s impossible algorithm. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "YouTuber who eats disgusting food is everything good about the internet," 20 Nov. 2018 Coty, which houses everything from OPI nail polish to Gucci perfume, has historically relied on acquisitions to boost its size and reach. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Coty Names New CEO and Searches for Fix to Slump," 12 Nov. 2018 Two of the eight sets are focused on nail polishes, a category that Park notes is one of the most successful for the brand year after year. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "Exclusive: Your First Look at the Gorgeous Julep 2018 Holiday Collection," 18 Sep. 2018 Pro tip: When playing football, use shellac nail polish. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "A battle for respect, then in the trenches: For Newport’s Jenna Martz, football is feminism," 26 Oct. 2018 Bringing back the setting’s original villain and reprising some of its narrative and cinematographic techniques could easily have made the season feel derivative, but Oleson has managed to bring new polish and nuance to the formula. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Most Read," 12 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polish

Dictionary Entries near polish

-polis

polis

poli-sci

polish

Polish

polishable

Polish-American

Statistics for polish

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polish

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 Polish : the people of Poland

polish

verb
pol·​ish | \ ˈpä-lish \
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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up polish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!