verb (used with object)
to make smooth and glossy, especially by rubbing or friction: to polish a brass doorknob.
to render finished, refined, or elegant: His speech needs polishing.
verb (used without object)
to become smooth and glossy through polishing: a flooring that polishes easily.
Archaic. to become refined or elegant.
Verb phrases 5.
a substance used to give smoothness or gloss: shoe polish.
state of being polished.
smoothness and gloss of surface.
superiority of manner or execution; refinement; elegance: the polish of a professional singer.
10. polish off, Informal. a.
to finish or dispose of quickly: They polished off a gallon of ice cream between them.
to subdue or get rid of someone: The fighter polished off his opponent in the first round.
polish up, to improve; refine: She took lessons to polish up her speech.
Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English polishen Related forms
< Middle French poliss-,
long stem of polir
< Latin polīre
to polish; see -ish2
depolish, verb (used with object)
interpolish, verb (used with object)
overpolish, verb (used with object)
prepolish, noun, verb (used with object)
1. shine, brighten, burnish, buff, smooth. 8. shine, gleam. Polish, gloss, luster, sheen refer to a smooth, shining, or bright surface from which light is reflected. Polish suggests the smooth, bright reflection often produced by friction: rubbed to a high polish. Gloss suggests a superficial, hard smoothness characteristic of lacquered, varnished, or enameled surfaces: a gloss on oilcloth, on paper. Luster denotes the characteristic quality of the light reflected from the surfaces of certain materials (pearls, silk, wax, freshly cut metals, etc.): a pearly luster. Sheen sometimes poetical, suggests a glistening brightness such as that reflected from the surface of silk or velvet, or from furniture oiled and hand-polished: a rich velvety sheen.