When you polish something, you rub and buff it until it shines. You might need to polish your reading glasses from time to time.

You might polish your wooden coffee table with a cloth or polish beach stones until they gleam. Polish is also a noun, meaning either the spray you use to shine up your furniture or the shininess itself: "The polish on that desk is unbelievable — I can almost see my reflection in it!" There is also a figurative kind of polish, a sort of elegance or clarity you might see in well-edited writing or a fashionable woman sliding into a taxi.

Definitions of polish

v make (a surface) shine

polish my shoes”
shine, smooth, smoothen
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Simonise, Simonize
polish with wax
sleek, slick
make slick or smooth
buff, burnish, furbish
polish and make shiny
give a shine or gloss to, usually by rubbing
Type of:
beautify, embellish, fancify, prettify
make more beautiful

v improve or perfect by pruning or polishing

down, fine-tune, refine
over-refine, overrefine
refine too much or with excess of subtlety
civilise, civilize, cultivate, educate, school, train
teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
make less natural or innocent
Type of:
ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
to make better

v bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state

polish your social manners”
brush up, polish up, round, round off
Type of:
hone, perfect
make perfect or complete

n the property of being smooth and shiny

burnish, gloss, glossiness
French polish
the glaze produced by repeated applications of French polish shellac
a glossy finish on a fabric
Type of:
a texture without roughness; smooth to the touch
effulgence, radiance, radiancy, refulgence, refulgency, shine
the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light

n a preparation used in polishing

blacking, shoe polish
a substance used to produce a shiny protective surface on footwear
a brand of car polish
Type of:
formulation, preparation
a substance prepared according to a formula

n a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality

“they performed with great polish
cultivation, culture, finish, refinement
Type of:
flawlessness, ne plus ultra, perfection
the state of being without a flaw or defect