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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce polish (audio)

Dictionary definition of polish

To make something smooth and shiny by rubbing or applying a substance.
"The debate team members needed to polish their arguments for the final competition."

Detailed meaning of polish

This can refer to objects such as shoes, silverware, or furniture. When you polish shoes, for example, you use a cloth and polish to make them clean and shiny. Another meaning of "polish" is to refine or perfect something. It can be applied to skills, talents, or even written work. When you polish a skill, you work on improving and honing it to achieve a higher level of proficiency. Additionally, "polish" can be used metaphorically to describe the act of refining or improving manners, behavior, or etiquette. It implies cultivating good social graces and presenting oneself in a polished and refined manner. Finally, "polish" can also refer to the act of clarifying or making something more precise. For instance, in writing, you can polish a piece of text by editing it to enhance its clarity, coherence, and overall quality. In summary, "polish" encompasses the actions of making something shiny and smooth, refining skills or talents, improving behavior and manners, as well as clarifying and perfecting written or verbal expressions.

Example sentences containing polish

1. Every weekend, I polish my car to keep it looking brand new.
2. Watch me polish these shoes until they're gleaming brightly!
3. I'll polish the silverware before the guests arrive tonight.
4. He prefers to polish the floors with a natural, beeswax product.
5. The jeweler can polish the old ring to make it shine like new.
6. In the mornings, Sarah likes to polish her boots to a high shine.

History and etymology of polish

The verb 'polish' has its etymological origins in the Latin word 'polire,' which meant 'to make smooth or to polish.' In ancient Rome, 'polire' was used to describe the act of smoothing or shining surfaces, including metals and stones. This Latin term had a figurative sense as well, referring to the refinement or improvement of one's skills or character. As Latin influenced various languages, including Old French, the term 'polire' evolved into 'polir,' maintaining its core meaning of smoothing and shining. In Middle English, it became 'polishen,' and eventually, it took the form we recognize today as 'polish.' Thus, the etymology of 'polish' underscores its historical association with the act of making something smooth and shiny by rubbing or applying a substance, reflecting the enduring human desire for refinement and enhancement.

Quiz: Find the meaning of polish

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Further usage examples of polish

1. They offer a service to polish antique furniture restoring its glow.
2. If you polish these stones well, they'll be perfect for the exhibit.
3. After the repair, technicians will polish the watch’s exterior surface.
4. A special cloth can help you polish your glasses without scratching.
5. To maintain their luster, it's best to regularly polish wooden tables.
6. We should polish the marble counters to reveal their full elegance.
7. Craftsmen often polish custom jewelry pieces by hand for precision.
8. When you polish your nails with care, they look professionally done.
9. Every soldier learns how to polish their buttons and badges properly.
10. If you don’t polish brass items often, they may tarnish and corrode.
11. Before the showcase, artists polish their sculptures for a final touch.
12. It’s mesmerizing to watch a professional polish a classic car’s body.
13. With skill, artisans polish handcrafted goods to enhance their beauty.
14. After each use, it’s wise to polish musical instruments to maintain them.
15. Every weekend, Mark takes time to polish his car until it shines like new.
16. Before the recital, the piano teacher asked her students to polish their pieces to perfection.
17. Susan needs to polish her presentation skills for the upcoming conference.
18. In the mornings, Dad would always polish his shoes until they gleamed.
19. The jeweler offered to polish my grandmother’s antique ring so that it would sparkle again.
20. The chef decided to polish off the dish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
21. My sister used a special cloth to polish the tarnished silverware.
22. The editor helped the author polish the manuscript before submitting it for publication.
23. Jane stayed late to polish her code, ensuring it ran as efficiently as possible.
24. The carpenter used fine sandpaper to polish the surface of the wooden table.
25. Before taking the telescope out, he made sure to polish the lens for a clearer view of the stars.



buff, tarnish, dull, roughen


Suffix -ish, TOEFL 1, High School 10, Aesthetic and Appearance

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