- noun a liquid which when painted on something gives it a shiny surface
- verb to paint something with a liquid varnish, to give a shiny surface to something
Cars & Driving
- noun a hard, glossy transparent coating
- noun a product of oil oxidation which is deposited on pistons and piston rings at high temperatures
- A clear, colorless substance used chiefly on wood to provide a hard, glossy, protective film. Varnish is manufactured from resinous products dissolved in oil, alcohol, or a number of volatile liquids.
Information & Library Science
- noun a shiny coating applied to book covers or jackets to make them more durable, similar in appearance to lamination, but cheaper
- verb to coat a book cover with varnish
Origin & History of “varnish”
Varnish may come ultimately from Berenice (Greek Berenī́kē), the name of a city in Cyrenaica, Libya, which was credited with the first use of varnishes. Berenī́kē became a generic term in medieval Greek, and is thought to lie behind medieval Latin veronix ‘resin used in varnishes’, which passed into English via Old French vernis.