spit and polish


Definition of spit and polish

: extreme attention to cleanliness, orderliness, smartness of appearance, and ceremony often at the expense of operational efficiency

Other Words from spit and polish

spit-and-polish \ ˈspit-​ən(d)-​ˈpä-​lish How to pronounce spit and polish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spit and polish in a Sentence

All the car needs is some spit and polish.
Recent Examples on the Web Four years ago, Manchester native Unger and her family purchased Tuck Shop from DJ Fernandes, lending the popular Coronado joint a little European spit and polish, but largely leaving its homey, comfort food vibe intact. Dominic Armato, azcentral, 17 Jan. 2020 For the 2018 model year, the Range Rover Sport takes what Land Rover does well and puts another level of spit and polish on it. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spit and polish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spit and polish

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spit and polish

from the practice of polishing objects such as shoes by spitting on them and then rubbing them with a cloth

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Time Traveler for spit and polish

Time Traveler

The first known use of spit and polish was in 1895

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Dictionary Entries Near spit and polish


spit and polish

spit and vinegar

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Statistics for spit and polish

Cite this Entry

“Spit and polish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spit%20and%20polish. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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