polish up

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polish up

1. Literally, to smoothen or shine something through the use of forceful rubbing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "polish" and "up." I'll need to polish up my shoes before John and Sarah's wedding tomorrow. Our rings are a bit tarnished—would you mind polishing them up for us?
2. To improve or refresh one's knowledge about or ability to do something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "polish" and "up." I've been polishing my Japanese up before I go to Tokyo next month. I need to polish up on factorials before attempting to teach them on Monday.
3. To improve or refine the appearance something. I've been hearing rumors that there are going to be company-wide layoffs soon. Better start polishing up my résumé. We need to polish up this old house before any prospective buyers get here.
See also: polish, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

polish something up

to rub something until it shines. Polish the silver up and make it look nice and shiny. If you will polish up the silver, I will put it away.
See also: polish, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

polish up

1. To make something smooth and shiny by rubbing or chemical action: The jeweler polished up the stones and made them into a necklace. She cleaned the mud off her shoes and polished them up.
2. To improve one's knowledge of something, especially through study and practice: I've been polishing up on my Spanish because I'm going to Mexico. My dancing skills weren't that good, so I took a class to polish them up.
3. To improve or refine something: The mayor tried to polish up his image after the scandal. The manuscript is good, but you need to polish it up if you want it to be published.
See also: polish, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

polished (up)

mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also waxed.) How much of that do I have to drink to get good and polished?
See also: polished, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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