from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make smooth and shiny by rubbing or chemical action.
  • intransitive verb To remove the outer layers from (grains of rice) by rotation in drums.
  • intransitive verb To refine or remove flaws from; perfect or complete.
  • intransitive verb To become smooth or shiny by being rubbed.
  • noun Smoothness or shininess of surface or finish.
  • noun A substance containing chemical agents or abrasive particles and applied to smooth or shine a surface.
  • noun The act or process of polishing.
  • noun Elegance of style or manners; refinement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to Poland, a country of Europe, or to its inhabitants.
  • noun The language of the Poles.
  • noun Same as Polish checkers.
  • noun A highly ornamental breed of the domestic hen, characterized especially by the large globular crest, and in most varieties having also a full muff or beard.
  • noun Smoothness of surface, produced either by friction or by the application of some varnish, or by both means combined.
  • noun A substance used to give smoothness or to help in giving smoothness to any surface. See French polish, varnish-polish, etc., below.
  • noun Smoothness; regularity; elegance; refinement; especially, elegance of style or manners.
  • noun A liquid application prepared by dissolving gum-shellac in alcohol, or an imitation of this. It is applied with a sponge or rag, and the surface is then rubbed very thoroughly, the operation being usually repeated two or three times.
  • noun The paste by which such a polish is produced.
  • To make smooth and glossy, as a surface of marble, wood, etc., whether by rubbing or by coating with varnish, etc., or in both ways.
  • Figuratively, to render smooth, regular, uniform, etc.; remove roughness, inelegance, etc., from; especially, to make elegant and polite.
  • To beat; chastise; punish.
  • Synonyms To burnish, furbish, brighten, rub up.
  • To civilize.
  • To become smooth; receive a gloss; take a smooth and glossy surface.
  • Figuratively, to become smooth, regular, uniform, elegant, or polite.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to Poland or its inhabitants.
  • intransitive verb To become smooth, as from friction; to receive a gloss; to take a smooth and glossy surface.
  • transitive verb To make smooth and glossy, usually by friction; to burnish; to overspread with luster
  • transitive verb Hence, to refine; to wear off the rudeness, coarseness, or rusticity of; to make elegant and polite.
  • transitive verb [Slang] to finish completely, as an adversary.
  • noun A smooth, glossy surface, usually produced by friction; a gloss or luster.
  • noun Anything used to produce a gloss.
  • noun Fig.: Refinement; elegance of manners.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A substance used to polish.
  • noun Cleanliness; smoothness, shininess.
  • noun Refinement; cleanliness in performance or presentation.
  • verb transitive To shine; to make a surface very smooth or shiny by rubbing, cleaning, or grinding.
  • verb transitive To refine; remove imperfections from.
  • verb transitive To apply shoe polish to shoes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state
  • noun a preparation used in polishing
  • verb make (a surface) shine
  • noun the Slavic language of Poland
  • verb improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
  • noun a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
  • adjective of or relating to Poland or its people or culture
  • noun the property of being smooth and shiny


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English polisshen, from Old French polir, poliss-, from Latin polīre; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin polire ("to polish, make smooth").


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