burnish

[ bur-nish ]
/ ˈbɜr nɪʃ /

verb (used with object)

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.

noun

gloss; brightness; luster: the burnish of brass andirons.

Nearby words

  1. burning bush,
  2. burning ghat,
  3. burning glass,
  4. burning question,
  5. burningly,
  6. burnished,
  7. burnisher,
  8. burnley,
  9. burnoose,
  10. burnous

Origin of burnish

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 formsbur·nish·a·ble, adjectivebur·nish·ment, nounun·bur·nished, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for burnish


British Dictionary definitions for burnish

burnish

/ (ˈbɜːnɪʃ) /

verb

to make or become shiny or smooth by friction; polish

noun

a shiny finish; lustre
Derived Formsburnishable, adjectiveburnisher, noun

Word Origin for burnish

C14 burnischen, from Old French brunir to make brown, from brun brown

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

Word Origin and History for burnish

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