V'ARNISH, noun [Low Latin vernix.]
1. A thick, viscid, glossy liquid, laid on work by painters and others, to give it a smooth hard surface and a beautiful gloss. Varnishes are made of different materials and for different purposes. amber varnish is made of amber, lintseed oil, litharge and turpentine. Black varnish for japanning wood and leather, is made by mixing lampblack with a proper quantity of a strong solution of gum-lac in spirit of wine.
2. An artificial covering to give a fair appearance to any act or conduct.
V'ARNISH, verb transitive
1. To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid, for giving any thing a glossy surface; as, to varnish a sideboard or table.
2. To cover with something that gives a fair external appearance.
Close ambition, varnish'd o'er with zeal.
3. To give a fair external appearance in words; to give a fair coloring to; as, to varnish errors or deformity.
Cato's voice was ne'er employ'd to clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes.
And bow the knee to pomp that loves to varnish guilt.