- 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.
- 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.
Origin of polish
Synonyms for polishSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for polish upreevaluate, reconsider, reexamine, analyze, revise, reassess, ponder, consider, read, examine, learn, think, coach, develop, prepare, show, explain, direct, tutor, instruct
- 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
- 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
Word Origin for polish
- 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
early 14c., polischen "make smooth," from Old French poliss-, present participle stem of polir (12c.) "to polish, decorate, see to one's appearance," from Latin polire "to polish, make smooth; decorate, embellish;" figuratively "refine, improve," said to be from Proto-Indo-European *pel- "to thrust, strike, drive" (via the notion of fulling cloth). The sense of "free from coarseness, to refine" first recorded in English mid-14c. Related: Polished; polishing. Slang polish off "finish" is 1837, from notion of applying a coat of polish being the final step in a piece of work.
1590s, "absence of coarseness," from polish (v.). From 1704 as "act of polishing;" 1819 as "substance used in polishing."
In addition to the idioms beginning with polish
- polish off
- polish the apple
- spit and polish