Polish vs polish

The words Polish and polish are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words Polish and polish, where these words came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

Polish (poh-lish) means someone who is from Poland or whose ancestors were from Poland. Polish may also mean something related to the country of Poland, such as the language, customs, or decorations. The word Polish is derived from the word Pole, meaning someone from Poland, and -ish, which means a native of a country. Pole has been used since the 1650s to refer to someone from the area of Poland. Note that Polish is capitalized because it is a proper adjective, which is an adjective derived from a proper noun.

Polish (paw-lish) means to make something shiny by rubbing it or to make something smooth by sanding it. The word polish is also used figuratively to mean to make something the best it can be, like one’s resume or one’s sales pitch. The word polish is used as a noun or a verb, related words are polishes, polished, polishing. The word polish is derived from the Latin word polire, which means to embellish, to refine, to smooth.


The film describes the arrival of Polish immigrants to Chicago, which became the largest center of Polish culture outside of Poland itself. (The Mendota Reporter)

I’ve kept my version a bit more simple, replacing the hot dogs with smoked Polish sausage, the Spam (no thanks) with ham, and omitted the baked beans and American cheese which can also sometimes feature. (The Irish Times)

Anyway, try sanding it lightly to remove the burn and then shine it up it with some car or furniture polish. (The Colorado Springs Gazette)

Polish your resume and make sure you are describing your skills and the projects you have worked on in a technical setting. (FIU News)

Check out some others we covered: