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
  1. verb
    make (a surface) shine
    polish my shoes”
    synonyms: shine, smooth, smoothen
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    show 4 types...
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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
  2. verb
    improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
    synonyms: down, fine-tune, refine
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    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
    make better
  3. verb
    bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state
    polish your social manners”
    synonyms: brush up, burnish, polish up, round, round off
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    type of:
    hone, perfect
    refine or make more perfect or effective
  4. noun
    the property of being smooth and shiny
    synonyms: burnish, gloss, glossiness
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    French polish
    the glaze produced by repeated applications of French polish shellac
    a glossy finish on a fabric
    a sheen or gloss on a surface, especially resulting from use or age
    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
  5. noun
    a preparation used in polishing
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    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
  6. noun
    a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
    “they performed with great polish
    synonyms: cultivation, culture, finish, refinement
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    type of:
    flawlessness, ne plus ultra, perfection
    the state of being without a flaw or defect
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