ve·​neer | \ və-ˈnir How to pronounce veneer (audio) \

Definition of veneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin sheet of a material: such as
a : a layer of wood of superior value or excellent grain to be glued to an inferior wood
b : any of the thin layers bonded together to form plywood
c : a plastic or porcelain coating bonded to the surface of a cosmetically imperfect tooth
2 : a protective or ornamental facing (as of brick or stone)
3 : a superficial or deceptively attractive appearance, display, or effect : facade, gloss a veneer of tolerance


veneered; veneering; veneers

Definition of veneer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to overlay or plate (a surface, as of a common sort of wood) with a thin layer of finer wood for outer finish or decoration broadly : to face with a material giving a superior surface
2 : to cover over with a veneer especially : to conceal (something, such as a defect of character) under a superficial and deceptive attractiveness

Other Words from veneer


veneerer noun

Synonyms for veneer

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of veneer in a Sentence

Noun a wall with a stone veneer a dresser with mahogany veneer Verb The cabinet was veneered in oak.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the ceremony’s business-as-usual veneer cracked when Efira introduced a surprise guest, appearing from Kyiv by satellite, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 18 May 2022 The process has always been tightly controlled, but China removed any veneer of competition or opposition this time. New York Times, 8 May 2022 The wood is also made into railroad ties, posts, poles, veneer and furniture. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 2 May 2022 Reedy Creek has the trappings of an independent local governmental unit, but that’s just a veneer. Michael Hiltzikbusiness Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2022 The building’s structure and veneer are precast concrete, designed to withstand Category 4 winds of up to 150 mph. Mike Cason |, al, 28 Mar. 2022 Yet Stefanov’s patient eye looks beyond that veneer of violent masculinity and finds through Tsetso, a skinhead hooligan with a Swastika on his chest and a single father, a wide range of nuance that give surprising depth to their human experience. Emiliano Granada, Variety, 28 Mar. 2022 The ubiquity of these fictions gives them an implicit veneer of legitimacy, fueling polarization and distrust. David Robert Grimes, Scientific American, 28 Mar. 2022 The rustic Panta dining table from Arhaus is flanked by six Midori-green veneer-and gold metal Kettle Chairs from Industry West. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Think natural oak veneer with rose quartz and brass accents. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 10 Nov. 2021 Kurz’s fall is seen as a major blow to Europe’s conservatives, many of whom saw him as a charismatic role model, packaging hard-line conservative values under a slick, media savvy veneer. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 These are just some of the microaggressions, quiet bigotries and structural hurdles that diplomats say ripple under the State Department's cosmopolitan veneer. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, 6 May 2021 The organic lines of the desk and table, for instance, were achieved by meticulously hand-matching strips of solid wood veneer to express the timber’s grain. Bebe Howorth, ELLE Decor, 5 Mar. 2021 The photo below shows a common deviation, where the masonry veneer actually touches the shingles. Reuben Saltzman, Star Tribune, 10 Nov. 2020 And if Psyche does have a rocky mantle, ferrovolcanic seeps could have veneered it with metal from the asteroid’s core. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, 18 Sep. 2019 Some sported muscle sheaths that swell when exposed to ethanol vapor; others were veneered with a material that shrinks when soaked in a glucose solution. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, 11 July 2019 Some sported muscle sheaths that swell when exposed to ethanol vapor; others were veneered with a material that shrinks when soaked in a glucose solution. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, 11 July 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of veneer


1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for veneer


noun derivative of veneer entry 2, or borrowed directly from German (17th-century) furner, fornier (modern Furnier), noun derivative of fourniren, furniren "to apply thin strips of wood or other material (to cabinetwork, etc.)" — more at veneering


back-formation from veneering

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best hardwood floor cleaners.

Learn More About veneer

Dictionary Entries Near veneer



veneer graft

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for veneer

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Veneer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for veneer


ve·​neer | \ və-ˈnir How to pronounce veneer (audio) \

Kids Definition of veneer

: a layer of material that provides a finer surface or a stronger structure


ve·​neer | \ və-ˈni(ə)r How to pronounce veneer (audio) \

Medical Definition of veneer

: a plastic or porcelain coating bonded to the surface of a cosmetically imperfect tooth

More from Merriam-Webster on veneer

Nglish: Translation of veneer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of veneer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about veneer


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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