Varnish Var"nish, n. [OE. vernish, F. vernis, LL. vernicium; akin to F. vernir to varnish, fr. (assumed) LL. vitrinire to glaze, from LL. vitrinus glassy, fr. L. vitrum glass. See {Vitreous}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A viscid liquid, consisting of a solution of resinous matter in an oil or a volatile liquid, laid on work with a brush, or otherwise. When applied the varnish soon dries, either by evaporation or chemical action, and the resinous part forms thus a smooth, hard surface, with a beautiful gloss, capable of resisting, to a greater or less degree, the influences of air and moisture. [1913 Webster]

Note: According to the sorts of solvents employed, the ordinary kinds of varnish are divided into three classes: spirit, turpentine, and oil varnishes. --Encyc. Brit [1913 Webster]

2. That which resembles varnish, either naturally or artificially; a glossy appearance. [1913 Webster]

The varnish of the holly and ivy. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

3. An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct; outside show; gloss. [1913 Webster]

And set a double varnish on the fame The Frenchman gave you. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Varnish tree} (Bot.), a tree or shrub from the juice or resin of which varnish is made, as some species of the genus {Rhus}, especially {Rhus vernicifera} of Japan. The black varnish of Burmah is obtained from the {Melanorrh[oe]a usitatissima}, a tall East Indian tree of the Cashew family. See {Copal}, and {Mastic}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Varnish — is a transparent, hard, protective finish or film primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnish is traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent. Varnish finishes are usually glossy but… …   Wikipedia

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  • Varnish — Var nish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Varnished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Varnishing}.] [Cf. F. vernir, vernisser. See {Varnish}, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid which produces, when dry, a hard, glossy surface; as, to varnish a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • varnish — [vär′nish] n. [ME vernisch < OFr verniz < ML veronix, veronice, a resin < Gr Berenikē (now Benghazi), ancient city in Cyrenaica] 1. a) a preparation made of resinous substances dissolved in oil (oil varnish) or in alcohol, turpentine,… …   English World dictionary

  • varnish — ► NOUN ▪ a substance consisting of resin dissolved in a liquid, applied to wood or another surface to give a hard, clear, shiny surface when dry. ► VERB ▪ apply varnish to. ORIGIN Old French vernis, from Latin veronix fragrant resin …   English terms dictionary

  • varnish — index embellish, invent (falsify), mislead, slant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • varnish — [v] add a layer to; embellish adorn, coat, cover, decorate, enamel, finish, gild, glaze, gloss, japan, lacquer, luster, paint, polish, shellac, surface, veneer, wash, wax; concepts 172,177 Ant. strip …   New thesaurus

  • varnish — varnisher, n. varnishy, adj. /vahr nish/, n. 1. a preparation consisting of resinous matter, as copal or lac, dissolved in an oil (oil varnish) or in alcohol (spirit varnish) or other volatile liquid. When applied to the surface of wood, metal,… …   Universalium

  • varnish — [[t]vɑ͟ː(r)nɪʃ[/t]] varnishes, varnishing, varnished 1) N MASS Varnish is an oily liquid which is painted onto wood or other material to give it a hard, clear, shiny surface. The varnish comes in six natural wood shades. 2) N SING The varnish on… …   English dictionary

  • varnish — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ clear, transparent ▪ gloss, glossy ▪ discoloured/discolored ▪ The painting was obscured by discoloured/discolored varnish and a heavy layer of grime …   Collocations dictionary

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