spirit varnish



See under varnish(def 1).

Origin of spirit varnish

First recorded in 1840–50

Definition for spirit varnish (2 of 2)


[ vahr-nish ]
/ ˈvɑr nɪʃ /


verb (used with object)

Origin of varnish

1300–50; Middle English varnisch < Middle French vernis, verniz < Medieval Latin vernicium sandarac < Medieval Greek bernī́kē, syncopated variant of Greek Berenī́kē, city in Cyrenaica


Related forms

var·nish·er, nounvar·nish·y, adjectivere·var·nish, verb (used with object)well-var·nished, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spirit varnish

  • This method of oil-finish, too, is scarcely inferior to the shellac or spirit-varnish method, and it is cheaper.

British Dictionary definitions for spirit varnish (1 of 2)

spirit varnish


a varnish consisting of a gum or resin, such as shellac or copal, dissolved in alcohol

British Dictionary definitions for spirit varnish (2 of 2)


/ (ˈvɑːnɪʃ) /


verb (tr)

Derived Forms

varnisher, noun

Word Origin for varnish

C14: from Old French vernis, from Medieval Latin veronix sandarac, resin, from Medieval Greek berenikē, perhaps from Greek Berenikē, city in Cyrenaica, Libya where varnishes were used
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