patina

If you have an old bronze sculpture with a surface that has oxidized and turned green or brown, that coating is called a patina. A patina can appear on anything made of metal.

A patina can also be the shiny surface on wooden furniture that you get after years and years of polishing. You can also use the word in a metaphorical sense, to describe somebody who has acquired some surface character that doesn't go very deep — like the tycoon who has a patina of sophistication but only pretends to be interested in art and literature.

Definitions of patina
  1. noun
    a fine coating of oxide on the surface of a metal
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    types:
    verdigris
    a green patina that forms on copper or brass or bronze that has been exposed to the air or water for long periods of time
    type of:
    coat, coating
    a thin layer covering something
  2. noun
    a sheen or gloss on a surface, especially resulting from use or age
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    type of:
    burnish, gloss, glossiness, polish
    the property of being smooth and shiny
  3. noun
    a thin or superficial layer on the surface of something
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    type of:
    coat, coating
    a thin layer covering something
  4. noun
    a distinctive but intangible quality surrounding a person or thing
    synonyms: air, atmosphere, aura
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    types:
    mystique
    an aura of heightened value or interest or meaning surrounding a person or thing
    note
    a characteristic emotional quality
    vibe, vibration
    a distinctive emotional aura experienced instinctively
    type of:
    quality
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
Word Family
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