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From German Furnier, from furnieren (to inlay, cover with a veneer), from French fournir (to furnish, accomplish), from Middle French fornir, from Old French fornir, furnir (to furnish), from Old Frankish frumjan (to provide), from Proto-Germanic *frumjaną (to further, promote). Cognate with Old High German frumjan, frummen (to accomplish, execute, provide), Old English fremian (to promote, perform). More at furnish.



veneer (countable and uncountable, plural veneers)

  1. A thin decorative covering of fine material (usually wood) applied to coarser wood or other material.
    • 1951 May, “British Railways Standard Coaches”, in Railway Magazine, pages 327-328:
      Compartment and corridor partitions are of blockboard, with appropriate decorative veneers to suit the varied interior decoration.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away, [].
  2. An attractive appearance that covers or disguises one's true nature or feelings.
    • 2014 December 5, “Joy From the World”, in The New York Times Magazine, retrieved 6 December 2014:
      “Yalda,” Dabashi says, “has managed to survive the centuries because it has been gently recodified with a Muslim veneer.”

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veneer (third-person singular simple present veneers, present participle veneering, simple past and past participle veneered)

  1. (transitive, woodworking) To apply veneer to.
    to veneer a piece of furniture with mahogany
    • 1947 January and February, “South African Royal Train”, in Railway Magazine, page 36:
      The stateroom walls are veneered with finely figured English chestnut with the skirting and mouldings in English walnut.
  2. (transitive, figurative) To disguise with apparent goodness.

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