Definitions

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

  • n. A paint containing a solvent and an oxidizing or evaporating binder, used to coat a surface with a hard, glossy, transparent film.
  • n. The smooth coating or gloss resulting from the application of this paint.
  • n. Something suggestive of or resembling varnish.
  • n. A deceptively attractive external appearance; an outward show.
  • transitive v. To cover with varnish.
  • transitive v. To give a smooth and glossy finish to.
  • transitive v. To give a deceptively attractive appearance to; gloss over.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of paint with a solvent that evaporates to leave a hard, transparent, glossy film.
  • n. Anything resembling such a paint.
  • n. By extension: A deceptively showy appearance.
  • v. To apply varnish.
  • v. To cover up with varnish.
  • v. To gloss over a defect.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A viscid liquid, consisting of a solution of resinous matter in an oil or a volatile liquid, laid on work with a brush, or otherwise. When applied the varnish soon dries, either by evaporation or chemical action, and the resinous part forms thus a smooth, hard surface, with a beautiful gloss, capable of resisting, to a greater or less degree, the influences of air and moisture.
  • n. That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially; a glossy appearance.
  • n. An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss.
  • transitive v. To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid which produces, when dry, a hard, glossy surface.
  • transitive v. To cover or conceal with something that gives a fair appearance; to give a fair coloring to by words; to gloss over; to palliate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay varnish on for the purpose of decorating or protecting the surface. See varnish, n., 1.
  • To cover with something that gives a fair external appearance; give an improved appearance to.
  • To give an attractive external appearance to by rhetoric; give a fair coloring to; gloss over; palliate: as, to varnish errors or deformity.
  • To apply varnish, in a general sense.
  • n. In etching, any resinous coating used to cover parts of the plate which have become exposed: to be distinguished from the ground, which is the original coating applied to the entire plate.
  • n. A solution of resinous matter, forming a clear limpid fluid capable of hardening without losing its transparency: used by painters, gilders, cabinet-makers, and others for coating over the surface of their work in order to give it a shining, transparent, and hard surface, capable of resisting in a greater or less degree the influences of air and moisture.
  • n. That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially: a glossy or lustrous appearance.
  • n. An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss; palliation; “whitewash.”
  • n. In ceramics, the glaze of pottery or porcelain.

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

  • v. cover with varnish
  • n. a coating that provides a hard, lustrous, transparent finish to a surface

Etymologies

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

Middle English vernisshe, from Old French vernis, from Medieval Latin veronix, vernix, sandarac resin, from Medieval Greek verenikē, from Greek Berenikē, Berenice (Benghazi), an ancient city of Cyrenaica.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French vernis, from Latin origin.

Examples

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