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 given a look is always a look with Dion—a statement that is polished yet topped with a dose of flourish—the singer’s bold pose and construction zone backdrop drove the whole fashion moment home. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Of Course Céline Dion Gave Tie-Dye an OTT Twist," 20 Aug. 2019 Photos already creates fairly sophisticated tools to polish a photo, for instance, so Magic Select would seem like a natural addition to it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "As Microsoft kills off Remix3D, it's time to save another important Paint 3D feature: Magic Select," 10 July 2019 Final APIs for developers were locked down in Beta 4, so Beta 5 and 6 are mostly about squishing bugs and polishing up the final interface. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google releases the 6th and final beta for Android Q," 7 Aug. 2019 In contrast with creators who polish their vlogs to high sheens, Chamberlain popularized a normcore-adjacent aesthetic. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet," 16 July 2019 Many scientifically valuable amber specimens come to light only because of private trade, after the fossils have already been cut and polished. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "This ancient sea creature fossilized in tree resin. How'd that happen?," 13 May 2019 Wheeling Mom out of the way to polish up the condo for her estate sale reveals an ambition to reach for the worst. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'The cat is your guardian angel'," 25 Jan. 2019 On all sides, billionaires are shaping policy, influencing opinion, promoting favorite causes, polishing their images—and carefully shielding themselves from scrutiny. The New York Review of Books, "Michael Massing," 14 Jan. 2016 The mirror finish arrives after about 4,000 miles of driving, since the process depends on the pads polishing the rotors. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "How Porsche Built the Game-Changing Brakes on the 2019 Cayenne," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even still, the color might take a bit of building up, so work with a few layers of thin coats to keep the polish from getting too gloppy. Glamour, "The Best Neon Nail Polishes for 2019," 26 July 2019 Neon colors tend to stick out, so if standing out from the crowd is your goal, then try one of the pretty polishes ahead–but warning these colors are festive and loud. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "9 Pretty Polishes To Paint On This Summer," 26 June 2019 The polish, their teachers advised, would come with time. David Weininger, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Just go for it’: An adventurous quartet, always in the moment," 19 June 2019 Android was also just starting out, but lacked hardware that came close to the iPhone’s polish. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "Watch the Palm Pre reveal, which is still one of the best tech keynotes ever," 6 June 2019 Gently remove the sticker when the polish is still wet, then apply a top coat to seal everything in. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "10 Easy and Fun Nail Designs to Copy This Summer," 7 May 2019 Let your nails soak for for about ten to 15 minutes, letting them go longer if the polish doesn't easily slide off. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Right Way To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home," 20 Feb. 2019 Rub the polish on your item in an up-and-down motion, not circular to avoid highlighting fine scratches. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Silver and Prevent Tarnish," 20 Nov. 2018 Rub in the polish for a few minutes using circular motions. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "How to Clean Your Headlights and Make Them Shine Like New," 2 Aug. 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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Learn More about polish

Dictionary Entries near polish

polis

-polis

poli-sci

polish

Polish

polishable

Polish-American

Statistics for polish

Last Updated

5 Sep 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

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