Definition of French polish in US English:

French polish


  • Shellac polish that produces a high gloss on wood.

    ‘a coat of French polish was brushed over the repair’
    • ‘Various proprietary products are sold as French polish, unusually consisting of an alcoholic solution of shellac resin with a variety of additives intended to ease application or increase brightness.’
    • ‘The name French polish is deceptive, because it's not a furniture polish at all, but a varnish, a finish, just as lacquer is a finish.’
    • ‘Open-grained wood will require several coats of French polish to seal it.’
    • ‘I'm presenting just an illustration of what French polish actually is, and how I approach it.’
    • ‘I knew a French polisher who worked in the yard and he made up his French polish at home and brought it into work each day so no-one would know the recipe for his polish.’


[with object]
  • Treat (wood) with French polish.

    • ‘Never French polish in high humidity because the water in the air will become trapped beneath the surface.’
    • ‘Once you feel confident with the technique, you can then begin to French polish the actual instrument.’


French polish

/ˈˌfrenCH ˈpäliSH//ˈˌfrɛntʃ ˈpɑlɪʃ/