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[vuh-neer] /vəˈnɪər/
a thin layer of wood or other material for facing or inlaying wood.
any of the thin layers of wood glued together to form plywood.
Building Trades. a facing of a certain material applied to a different one or to a type of construction not ordinarily associated with it, as a facing of brick applied to a frame house.
a superficially valuable or pleasing appearance:
a cruel person with a veneer of kindliness.
verb (used with object)
to overlay or face (wood) with thin sheets of some material, as a fine wood, ivory, or tortoise shell.
to face or cover (an object) with any material that is more desirable as a surface material than the basic material of the object; revet.
to cement (layers of wood veneer) to form plywood.
to give a superficially valuable or pleasing appearance to.
Origin of veneer
1695-1705; earlier fineering, faneering < German Fourni(e)rung, Furni(e)rung, equivalent to furni(e)ren to furnish (< French fournir) + -ung -ing1
Related forms
veneerer, noun
unveneered, adjective
4. façade, front, show, mask, guise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for veneer
  • Out of context, many of our behaviors-if limited to the mere veneer of plain description-would raise many an eyebrow.
  • So the living veneer of this reef, the part a diver sees, is ever changing.
  • But beneath that veneer of familiarity hides a radical rethinking of the way engineers do business.
  • His stroke had wiped out an intuition produced by millions of years of evolution, while sparing a veneer of education.
  • Even in politics, voters seem to flock to people who consciously project a veneer of authenticity through practical skills.
  • In any case, she's sure that he's a poseur and an opportunist, disguising his self-seeking with a veneer of piety.
  • The grain was rich and deep-the real thing, not veneer.
British Dictionary definitions for veneer


a thin layer of wood, plastic, etc, with a decorative or fine finish that is bonded to the surface of a less expensive material, usually wood
a superficial appearance, esp one that is pleasing: a veneer of gentility
any facing material that is applied to a different backing material
any one of the layers of wood that is used to form plywood
verb (transitive)
to cover (a surface) with a veneer
to bond together (thin layers of wood) to make plywood
to conceal (something) under a superficially pleasant surface
Derived Forms
veneerer, noun
Word Origin
C17: from German furnieren to veneer, from Old French fournir to furnish
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 veneer

1702, from German Furnier, from furnieren "to cover with a veneer, inlay," from French fournir "to furnish, accomplish," from Middle French fornir "to furnish," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German frumjan "to provide;" see furnish). A word batted back and forth from German to French to German. Figurative sense of "mere outward show of some good quality" is attested from 1868. The verb is recorded from 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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veneer in Medicine

veneer ve·neer (və-nēr')
A layer of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or acrylic resin, attached to and covering the surface of a metal crown or natural tooth structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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