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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.
    • 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.