Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
polish (something) off
To consume, dispose of, or finish all of something very quickly or easily. I was still hungry after dinner, so I polished off the leftover Chinese food in the fridge. I'll come to the party a little later; I just need to polish off this essay first.
polish something off
to eat, consume, exhaust, or complete all of something. Who polished the cake off? Who polished off the cake?
Finish or dispose of, especially quickly and easily. For example, We polished off the pie in no time, or If everyone helps, we can polish off this job today. This usage, dating from the early 1800s, came from boxing, where it originally meant "to defeat an opponent quickly and easily." By the 1830s it was used more generally.
1. To make something clean or shiny: The student polished off the apple and handed it to the teacher. I polished the vase off with a cloth and set it on the table.
2. To eliminate something, such as rust or a stain by rubbing: Please polish that spot off the doorknob. After much scrubbing, I finally polished off the stain.
3. Slang To finish or consume something enthusiastically: I polished off that last piece of cake. After we polish this pizza off, let's get dessert.