Burnish definition

bûrnĭsh
To improve or make more impressive.

Achievements that burnished her reputation.

verb
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A gloss or polish.
noun
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To rub with a tool that serves especially to smooth or polish.
verb
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A smooth glossy finish or appearance; luster.
noun
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To burnish is to polish or shine something by rubbing.

An example of burnish is to shine a bronze statue.

verb
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To make smooth or glossy by rubbing; polish.
verb
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To make or become shiny by rubbing; polish.
verb
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To make smooth or shiny by rubbing; to polish; to shine.

In pottery, a stone is sometimes used to burnish a pot before firing, giving it a smooth, shiny look.

verb
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(intransitive) To shine forth; to brighten; to become smooth and glossy, as from swelling or filling out; hence, to grow large.
verb
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Origin of burnish

  • Middle English burnishen from Old French burnir burniss- variant of brunir from brun shining of Germanic origin bher-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French burnir, from its stem burniss-, variant of brunir (“to polish, make brown”).

    From Wiktionary