- to polish (a surface) by friction.
- to make smooth and bright.
- Engraving. to flatten and enlarge the dots of (a halftone) by rubbing with a tool.
- gloss; brightness; luster: the burnish of brass andirons.
Origin of burnish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for unburnished
To be distinguished from the above is the term “mat” in glass-painting or gilding, meaning dull, unpolished or unburnished.
Gold-leaf gilding, even if it is unburnished, is infinitely more brilliant than either gold paint or shell gold.Illumination and its Development in the Present Day
- to make or become shiny or smooth by friction; polish
- a shiny finish; lustre
Word Origin and History for unburnished
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.