To make smooth and shiny by rubbing or chemical action. To remove the outer layers from (grains of rice) by rotation in drums. To free from coarseness; refine: polish one's manners. To remove flaws from; perfect or complete: polish one's piano technique; polish up the lyrics. To become smooth or shiny by or as if by being rubbed. To become perfect or refined. Smoothness or shininess of surface or finish. A substance containing chemical agents or abrasive particles and applied to smooth or shine a surface: shoe polish. The act or process of polishing. Elegance of style or manners; refinement. polish off Informal To finish or dispose of quickly and easily.