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tr.v. bur·nished, bur·nish·ing, bur·nish·es
1. To make smooth or glossy by rubbing; polish.
2. To rub with a tool that serves especially to smooth or polish.
3. To improve or make more impressive: achievements that burnished her reputation.
A smooth glossy finish or appearance; luster.
[Middle English burnishen, from Old French burnir, burniss-, variant of brunir, from brun, shining, of Germanic origin; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.