[ pol-ish ]
/ ˈpɒl ɪʃ /
verb (used with object)
to make smooth and glossy, especially by rubbing or friction: to polish a brass doorknob.
to render finished, refined, or elegant: His speech needs polishing.
verb (used without object)
to become smooth and glossy through polishing: a flooring that polishes easily.
Archaic. to become refined or elegant.
a substance used to give smoothness or gloss: shoe polish.
the act of polishing.
state of being polished.
smoothness and gloss of surface.
superiority of manner or execution; refinement; elegance: the polish of a professional singer.
polish off, Informal.
- to finish or dispose of quickly: They polished off a gallon of ice cream between them.
- to subdue or get rid of someone: The fighter polished off his opponent in the first round.
polish up, to improve; refine: She took lessons to polish up her speech.
💅 - nail polish - What does the nail polish emoji mean?Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of polish
1250–1300; Middle English polishen < Middle French poliss-, long stem of polir < Latin polīre to polish; see -ish2
SYNONYMS FOR polish
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.
pol·ish·er, nounde·pol·ish, verb (used with object)in·ter·pol·ish, verb (used with object)o·ver·pol·ish, verb (used with object)
pre·pol·ish, noun, verb (used with object)re·pol·ish, verb, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for polish up (1 of 3)
to make or become smooth and shiny by polishing
(when intr, foll by on) to study or practise until adept at; improvepolish up your spelling; he's polishing up on his German
British Dictionary definitions for polish up (2 of 3)
/ (ˈpɒlɪʃ) /
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
a finish or gloss
the act of polishing or the condition of having been polished
a substance used to produce a smooth and shiny, often protective surface
elegance or refinement, esp in style, manner, etc
Derived Formspolishable, adjectivepolisher, noun
Word Origin for polish
C13 polis, from Old French polir, from Latin polīre to polish
British Dictionary definitions for polish up (3 of 3)
/ (ˈpəʊlɪʃ) /
of, relating to, or characteristic of Poland, its people, or their language
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
Idioms and Phrases with polish up
In addition to the idioms beginning with polish
- polish off
- polish the apple
- 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.