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oil varnish

noun
1.
See under varnish (def 1).

varnish

[vahr-nish] /ˈvɑr nɪʃ/
noun
1.
a preparation consisting of resinous matter, as copal or lac, dissolved in an oil (oil varnish) or in alcohol (spirit varnish) or other volatile liquid. When applied to the surface of wood, metal, etc., it dries and leaves a hard, more or less glossy, usually transparent coating.
2.
the sap of certain trees, used for the same purpose (natural varnish)
3.
any of various other preparations similarly used, as one having India rubber, pyroxylin, or asphalt as its chief constituent.
4.
a coating or surface of varnish.
5.
something resembling or suggesting a coat of varnish; gloss.
6.
superficial polish or external show, especially to conceal some defect or inadequacy:
The play has a varnish of witty dialogue.
7.
British. nail polish.
verb (used with object)
8.
to apply varnish to; coat or cover with varnish.
9.
to give a glossy appearance to.
10.
to give an improved appearance to; adorn.
11.
to give a superficially pleasing appearance to, especially in order to deceive:
to varnish the truth.
Origin of varnish
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English varnisch < Middle French vernis, verniz < Medieval Latin vernicium sandarac < Medieval Greek bernī́kē, syncopated variant of Greek Berenī́kē, city in Cyrenaica
Related forms
varnisher, noun
varnishy, adjective
revarnish, verb (used with object)
well-varnished, adjective
Synonyms
11. gild, disguise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oil varnish
Historical Examples
  • When this varnish is dry, two or three coats of copal, or oil varnish are applied, at intervals of two days.

  • The whole is then covered with an oil varnish, which, in plain lettering, completes the operation.

  • It may be described as precisely the reverse of the oil varnish; it is hard and unyielding.

    The Violin George Hart
  • Therefore, I drew a pretty cotton pattern on a stone plate and printed from it with oil varnish and finely pulverized indigo.

    The Invention of Lithography Alois Senefelder
  • The stands and vases should be given two coats of oil varnish, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second.

    Rustic Carpentry Paul N. Hasluck
  • Therefore, I shall draw your attention to the use of oil varnish, utterly discarding that of spirit.

    Violin Making Walter H. Mayson
  • But to what oil varnish is not my present purpose; why should I seek to close the door on research and on experiment?

    Violin Making Walter H. Mayson
British Dictionary definitions for oil varnish

oil varnish

noun
1.
another name for varnish (sense 1)

varnish

/ˈvɑːnɪʃ/
noun
1.
Also called oil varnish. a preparation consisting of a solvent, a drying oil, and usually resin, rubber, bitumen, etc, for application to a surface where it polymerizes to yield a hard glossy, usually transparent, coating
2.
a similar preparation consisting of a substance, such as shellac or cellulose ester, dissolved in a volatile solvent, such as alcohol. It hardens to a film on evaporation of the solvent See also spirit varnish
3.
Also called natural varnish. the sap of certain trees used to produce such a coating
4.
a smooth surface, coated with or as with varnish
5.
an artificial, superficial, or deceptively pleasing manner, covering, etc; veneer
6.
(mainly Brit) another word for nail polish
verb (transitive)
7.
to cover with varnish
8.
to give a smooth surface to, as if by painting with varnish
9.
to impart a more attractive appearance to
10.
to make superficially attractive
Derived Forms
varnisher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French vernis, from Medieval Latin veronix sandarac, resin, from Medieval Greek berenikē, perhaps from Greek Berenikē, city in Cyrenaica, Libya where varnishes were used
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oil varnish

varnish

n.

mid-14c., from Old French vernis "varnish" (12c.), from Medieval Latin vernix "odorous resin," perhaps from Late Greek verenike, from Greek Berenike, name of an ancient city in Libya (modern Bengasi) credited with the first use of varnishes. The town is named for Berenike II, queen of Egypt (see Berenice). Figurative sense of "specious gloss, pretense," is recorded from 1560s.

v.

late 14c.; see varnish (n.). Related: Varnished; varnishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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3
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