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

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

From Ingrid Bergman’s polished waves to Angelina Jolie Pitt’s pregnancy glow, above are 21 iconic beauty moments worth remembering from the red carpets at Cannes, which kicks back off next week. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "21 Iconic Cannes Beauty Moments: From Kate Moss to Kristen Stewart," 10 May 2019 The gem that emerges can be kept in its rough state or cut and polished by Algordanza’s specialists. Glenn Mcdonald, National Geographic, "From diamonds to rockets, mourning the dead has gotten high-tech," 17 June 2019 Once Craig Kimbrel polishes his right arm and joins the Cubs, Pedro Strop will lose save opportunities. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs reliever Pedro Strop is fine with losing save chances and eager to learn from Craig Kimbrel," 8 June 2019 Branko Matic acknowledged, although the long-term plan is to polish talented young players and sell them to bigger teams. James Montague, New York Times, "Leading Serbia at World Cup, Nemanja Matic Has One Foot Rooted at Home," 22 June 2018 This piece doesn’t try to do much, but its presentation is polished. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One duo shines amid Rep Lab experiments," 16 Feb. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Throughout the book, Lynch rotates through more outfits — rings, necklaces, hats, bags, fanny packs and neon nail polish — than a model during fashion week. Elazar Sontag, Washington Post, "With a wink and a ‘yasssss,’ Lazarus Lynch brings soul food to the Snapchat generation," 2 July 2019 Paint your nails one color and use glitter polish on one of your fingers with another color. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "25 Homecoming Nail Ideas That'll Help You Stand Out," 25 June 2019 The set — which includes an eyeshadow palette, lip products, and nail polishes — was voluntarily recalled by Claire's as of last week. Thatiana Diaz, refinery29.com, "JoJo Siwa's Makeup Kit At Claire's Was Recalled For Containing Asbestos," 10 June 2019 Scrunchies that were too similar in color got the ax; same for a duo of dusty pink nail polishes. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Can Marie Kondo Conquer Caboodles?," 17 Aug. 2018 Van Ness, who along with hairstyling has also taken up gymnastics and comedy, is also the new face of Essie nail polish. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Jonathan Van Ness from "Queer Eye" describes himself as "non-binary" and "genderqueer"," 11 June 2019 But SubZERO is like Tapestry in Talent’s subversive little sister, just louder and wearing black nail polish. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "Downtown San Jose’s epic street fair returns this weekend," 5 June 2019 Lastly, Thompson addresses the claims that Meghan broke royal protocol for closing her car door by herself and for wearing dark nail polish. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rickey Thompson Breaks Down Everything You Need to Know About Royal Etiquette," 5 June 2019 Nicolas Sarkozy illustrated the barbaric treatment of women in several interviews, claiming that women wearing nail polish were having their arms cut off by the Taliban. Rony Brauman, Harper's magazine, "Salable Virtues," 10 Apr. 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.

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

11 Jul 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 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

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

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!