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burnish

[bur-nish] /ˈbɜr nɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to polish (a surface) by friction.
2.
to make smooth and bright.
3.
Engraving. to flatten and enlarge the dots of (a halftone) by rubbing with a tool.
noun
4.
gloss; brightness; luster:
the burnish of brass andirons.
Origin of burnish
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English burnissh < Anglo-French burniss-, Middle French bruniss- (long stem of burnir, brunir to darken, polish), equivalent to brun- brown + -iss- -ish2
Related forms
burnishable, adjective
burnishment, noun
unburnished, adjective
Synonyms
1. buff, shine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for burnished
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The floor was scrubbed to whiteness, the very stove was burnished.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • The reins were of silk, and the chariot shone with burnished gold.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • The moonlight caught her grey hair and burnished it to an aureole of silver.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • From behind the hills peeped the edge of the moon—a sickle of burnished copper.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Her hair streaming on her shoulders glinted like burnished gold.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • She went to the mirror and tucked in a burnished strand or two of hair.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for burnished

burnish

/ˈbɜːnɪʃ/
verb
1.
to make or become shiny or smooth by friction; polish
noun
2.
a shiny finish; lustre
Derived Forms
burnishable, adjective
burnisher, noun
Word Origin
C14 burnischen, from Old French brunir to make brown, from brunbrown
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 burnished

burnish

v.

early 14c., from Old French burniss- present participle stem of burnir, metathesis of brunir "to shine, gleam, sparkle" (trans.), "to polish, make sparkle, make bright, shine," from brun "brown; polished," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German brun, Old Norse brunn "bright, polished; brown;" see brown (adj.)). The connection to "brown" might be explained if the original objects in mind were wooden ones. Related: Burnished; burnishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for burnished

15
17
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