Nearby words

  1. poliovirus,
  2. poliovirus hominis,
  3. poliovirus vaccine,
  4. polis,
  5. polisario,
  6. polish corridor,
  7. polish lowland sheepdog,
  8. polish notation,
  9. polish off,
  10. polish people's republic

Origin of polish

1250–1300; Middle English polishen < Middle French poliss-, long stem of polir < Latin polīre to polish; see -ish2

SYNONYMS FOR polish
1. shine, brighten, burnish, buff, smooth. 8. shine, gleam. Polish, gloss, luster, sheen refer to a smooth, shining, or bright surface from which light is reflected. Polish suggests the smooth, bright reflection often produced by friction: rubbed to a high polish. Gloss suggests a superficial, hard smoothness characteristic of lacquered, varnished, or enameled surfaces: a gloss on oilcloth, on paper. Luster denotes the characteristic quality of the light reflected from the surfaces of certain materials (pearls, silk, wax, freshly cut metals, etc.): a pearly luster. Sheen, sometimes poetical, suggests a glistening brightness such as that reflected from the surface of silk or velvet, or from furniture oiled and hand-polished: a rich velvety sheen.

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


British Dictionary definitions for polish off

polish off

verb (tr, adverb) informal

to finish or process completely
to dispose of or kill; eliminate

polish

/ (ˈpɒlɪʃ) /

verb

to make or become smooth and shiny by rubbing, esp with wax or an abrasive
(tr) to make perfect or complete
to make or become elegant or refined

noun


Derived Formspolishable, adjectivepolisher, noun

Word Origin for polish

C13 polis, from Old French polir, from Latin polīre to polish

Polish

/ (ˈpəʊlɪʃ) /

adjective

of, relating to, or characteristic of Poland, its people, or their language

noun

the official language of Poland, belonging to the West Slavonic branch of the Indo-European family
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 polish off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with polish off

polish off

Finish or dispose of, especially quickly and easily. For example, We polished off the pie in no time, or If everyone helps, we can polish off this job today. This usage, dating from the early 1800s, came from boxing, where it originally meant “to defeat an opponent quickly and easily.” By the 1830s it was used more generally.

polish

In addition to the idioms beginning with polish

  • polish off
  • polish the apple

also see:

  • spit and polish
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.