varnish

[vahr-nish]
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:
1300–50; Middle English varnisch < Middle French vernis, verniz < Medieval Latin vernicium sandarac < Medieval Greek bernī́kē, syncopated variant of Greek Berenī́kē, city in Cyrenaica

varnisher, noun
varnishy, adjective
revarnish, verb (used with object)
well-varnished, adjective


11. gild, disguise.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
varnish (ˈvɑːnɪʃ)
 
n
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.  See also spirit varnish 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
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.  chiefly (Brit) another word for nail polish
 
vb
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
 
[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]
 
'varnisher
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

varnish
mid-14c., from O.Fr. vernis "varnish" (12c.), from M.L. vernix "odorous resin," perhaps from Late Gk. verenike, from Gk. 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. The verb is attested from late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

varnished definition


  1. mod.
    alcohol intoxicated. (See also shellacked.) : Really varnished, he was. Couldn't see a hole in a ladder.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Most are built from mahogany and varnished with a brilliant red shine that looks rather dazzling out on the lake.
The rooms have varnished floors and quilted bedspreads, and some come with a small refrigerator.
He went over to a varnished desk, where there was a computer, and clicked on an
  icon.
His language is his own, although less varnished, and full of taunts.
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