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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.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /vəˈniə(ɹ)/
  • (US) IPA(key): [vɨˈniə̆ɹ]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)


veneer (countable and uncountable, plural veneers)

  1. A thin decorative covering of fine material (usually wood) applied to coarser wood or other material.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      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 true nature or feelings.
    • 2014 December 5, "Joy From the World," 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.”

Derived terms[edit]



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
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To disguise with apparent goodness.