bur|nish [ˈbə:nıʃ US ˈbə:r-] v [T] formal
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: brunir 'to make brown, cause to shine', from brun 'brown']
1.) to polish metal or another substance until it shines
2.) to work hard in order to improve something
He missed no opportunity to burnish his image.
>burnished adj

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Burnish — Bur nish, v. i. To shine forth; to brighten; to become smooth and glossy, as from swelling or filling out; hence, to grow large. [1913 Webster] A slender poet must have time to grow, And spread and burnish as his brothers do. Dryden. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burnish — Bur nish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Burnished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Burnishing}.] [OE. burnischen, burnissen, burnen, OF. burnir, brunir, to make brown, polish, F. brunir, fr. F. brun brown, fr. OHG. br?n; cf. MHG. briunen to make brown, polish. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burnish — Bur nish, n. The effect of burnishing; gloss; brightness; luster. Crashaw. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burnish — early 14c., from O.Fr. burniss prp. stem of burnir, metathesis of brunir to make brown/bright, polish, from brun brown, polished, from a Germanic source (Cf. O.H.G. brun, O.N. brunn bright, polished, brown; see BROWN (Cf. brown)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • burnish — [v] polish, brighten buff, furbish, glance, glaze, gloss, luster, patina, put on a finish, rub, sheen, shine, smooth, wax; concepts 202,215 Ant. dull, tarnish …   New thesaurus

  • burnish — ► VERB ▪ polish by rubbing. ► NOUN ▪ the shine on a polished surface. DERIVATIVES burnisher noun. ORIGIN Old French brunir make brown , from brun brown …   English terms dictionary

  • burnish — [bʉr′nish] vt., vi. [ME burnishen < OFr burniss , extended stem of brunir, to make brown < brun: see BRUNET] to make or become shiny by rubbing; polish n. a gloss or polish SYN. POLISH burnisher n …   English World dictionary

  • burnish — [[t]bɜ͟ː(r)nɪʃ[/t]] burnishes, burnishing, burnished VERB To burnish the image of someone or something means to improve their image. [JOURNALISM] [V n] The European Parliament badly needs a president who can burnish its image. Syn: improve …   English dictionary

  • burnish — UK [ˈbɜː(r)nɪʃ] / US [ˈbɜrnɪʃ] verb [transitive] Word forms burnish : present tense I/you/we/they burnish he/she/it burnishes present participle burnishing past tense burnished past participle burnished 1) to rub metal until it shines 2) to… …   English dictionary

  • burnish — burnishable, adj. burnishment, n. /berr nish/, v.t. 1. to polish (a surface) by friction. 2. to make smooth and bright. 3. Engraving. to flatten and enlarge the dots of (a halftone) by rubbing with a tool. n. 4. gloss; brightness; luster: the… …   Universalium

  • burnish — verb 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 …   Wiktionary

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