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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Varnish \Var"nish\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Varnished; p. pr. & vb. n. Varnishing.] [Cf. F. vernir, vernisser. See Varnish, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. To lay varnish on; to cover with a liquid which produces, when dry, a hard, glossy surface; as, to varnish a table; to varnish a painting. [1913 Webster] 2. To cover or conceal with something that gives a fair appearance; to give a fair coloring to by words; to gloss over; to palliate; as, to varnish guilt. "Beauty doth varnish age." --Shak. [1913 Webster] Close ambition, varnished o'er with zeal. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Cato's voice was ne'er employed To clear the guilty and to varnish crimes. --Addison. [1913 Webster]