To make smooth and glossy by rubbing with something.
M.E. polishen, from O.Fr. poliss-, pr.p. stem of polir "to polish," from L. polire "to polish, make smooth," of unknown origin.
Nasu kardan (Dehxodâ) "to polish, smooth, brighten," from nasu "smooth, bright" (mirror, sword), Mid.Pers. Manichean Parthian nswg "tender," from Proto-Iranian *ni-sau-, from prefix ni- "down," → ni- (PIE), + *sau- "to rub;" cf. Mod.Pers. sâbidan, variants sâyidan, pasâvidan "to touch, to rub;" Khotanese sauy- "to rub;" Sogdian ps'w- "to touch."
A stage in the process of mirror making after grinding that puts a highly finished, smooth and apparently amorphous surface on a mirror. → figuring; → grinding.
Verbal noun of → polish.