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

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Antonyms: Noun (1)

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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 Having too much brow is more often better than having too little, and giving your thick brows a little shape is the best way to polish up your look. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "How to Shape Your Eyebrows, According to a Brow Expert," 4 June 2019 Seek the help of a partner or close friend to refine and polish them. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 12, 2019: Happy birthday Emmy Rossum; Pisces, meditate to improve your mood," 12 Sep. 2019 John Tyler, who oversees the Riverside station, said Moye could often be found polishing his department-issue Harley-Davidson in the back of the building. Los Angeles Times, "Riverside shootout between cop doing his ‘dream job’ and troubled felon ends in heartbreak," 14 Aug. 2019 Whilst manager Paul Lambert was polishing the brass on the Titanic, Shaqiri was angling an escape on a Liverpool lifeboat, and deservedly so. SI.com, "Xherdan Shaqiri: From Relegation to Champions League Winner in 4 Short Premier League Years," 11 Aug. 2019 Once it's completely rinsed, dry and polish it with a clean, dry cloth. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Clean Your Oven With Supplies You Already Have," 17 Sep. 2018 Work on concrete grinding, staining and polishing in the cafeteria commons has started, and is scheduled for completion by mid-July. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oconomowoc's new Meadow View Elementary is nearing completion ahead of the new school year," 28 June 2019 And now the trophy will head east for another do-or-die scenario, bound for one final round of polishing after Boston polished off the Blues, 5–1. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Bruins’ Core Steps Up to Counterpunch Blues, Take Stanley Cup Final the Distance," 10 June 2019 On 16 of the tools, the microscopic striations and polishing on the stone matched the sorts of wear caused by cutting fish or meat. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Small Mayan saltworks could have supplied thousands, preserved food," 9 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here are 9 of the best nail polishes for making your manicure and holiday season festive and bright. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "9 Of The Best Polishes For Decking Out Your Nails This Holiday Season," 5 Nov. 2019 Being that Braelyn is just a little one, the nail polish did get all over the firefighters’ hands. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Firefighters Who Let This 2-Year-Old Give Them Manicures Couldn't Be Happier With the Results," 17 Oct. 2019 In the wake of guard Tyler Herro going for 18 points in his preseason debut Tuesday night, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pointed to the surprising polish of the 19-year-old selected with the No. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Kentucky contributions have Heat in a Calipari state of mind," 9 Oct. 2019 Chiles can be seen in the video painting nail polish on three card readers. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Police: Woman arrested after $1,146 worth of T.J. Maxx property damaged with nail polish," 12 Sep. 2019 Essie Weingarten, Essie Essie Weingarten is the woman behind the names of some of your favorite nail polish colors, and the founder of Essie Cosmetics. Rosa Sanchez, Teen Vogue, "How Your Favorite Cosmetics Products Got Their Cheeky Names," 11 Apr. 2019 Their instrumental and vocal polish offered a nice counterpart to the rough-and-tumble sense of abandon long favored on stage by Richards especially and the other Stones in general. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Rolling Stones rock Rose Bowl as NASA announces ‘Rolling Stones Rock’ on Mars," 23 Aug. 2019 Justine Kurland’s Girl Pictures, feral despite their polish. Eryn Loeb, Longreads, "When Friendship Fades But the Images Linger," 9 Aug. 2019 All the layers of polish will really make the texture pop. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Tortoiseshell Nails Are Fall’s Coolest Manicure Trend," 9 Sep. 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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Statistics for polish

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce Polish (audio)

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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