from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To make smooth or glossy by or as if by rubbing; polish.
- transitive v. To rub with a tool that serves especially to smooth or polish.
- n. A smooth glossy finish or appearance; luster.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To make smooth or shiny by rubbing; to polish; to shine.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To cause to shine; to make smooth and bright; to polish; specifically, to polish by rubbing with something hard and smooth.
- intransitive v. To shine forth; to brighten; to become smooth and glossy, as from swelling or filling out; hence, to grow large.
- n. The effect of burnishing; gloss; brightness; luster.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cause to glow or become resplendent.
- To polish by friction; make smooth and lustrous: as, to burnish steel.
- To grow, as a child; thrive; flourish; become fat and sleek; hence, to become bright or brilliant; show conspicuously.
- n. Polish; hence, gloss; brightness; luster.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. polish and make shiny
- n. the property of being smooth and shiny
Middle English burnishen, from Old French burnir, burniss-, variant of brunir, from brun, shining, of Germanic origin; see bher-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French burnir, from its stem burniss-, variant of brunir ("to polish, make brown"). (Wiktionary)