Definitions

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

  • noun A liquid that contains a solvent and an oxidizing or evaporating binder and is applied to a surface to produce a hard, transparent finish after evaporation and curing.
  • noun The smooth coating or gloss resulting from the application of this liquid.
  • noun Something suggestive of or resembling varnish.
  • noun An often deceptive external appearance or outward show.
  • transitive verb To cover with varnish.
  • transitive verb To give a smooth and glossy finish to.
  • transitive verb To give a superficial or deceptive appearance to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially: a glossy or lustrous appearance.
  • noun An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss; palliation; “whitewash.”
  • noun In ceramics, the glaze of pottery or porcelain.
  • noun 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.

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

  • transitive verb To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid which produces, when dry, a hard, glossy surface.
  • transitive verb To cover or conceal with something that gives a fair appearance; to give a fair coloring to by words; to gloss over; to palliate.
  • noun 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.
  • noun That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially; a glossy appearance.
  • noun An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss.
  • noun (Bot.) a tree or shrub from the juice or resin of which varnish is made, as some species of the genus Rhus, especially Rhus vernicifera of Japan. The black varnish of Burmah is obtained from the Melanorrhœa usitatissima, a tall East Indian tree of the Cashew family. See Copal, and Mastic.

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

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

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

  • verb cover with varnish
  • noun 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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