[uncountable, countable] a liquid that is painted onto wood, metal, etc. and that forms a hard shiny transparent surface when it is dry I’ll give the shelves a coat of varnish. see also nail varnish Word Origin Middle English: from Old French vernis, from medieval Latin veronix
‘fragrant resin’ or medieval Greek berenikē, probably from Berenice, a town in Cyrenaica, a region of NE Libya.Extra examples The painting was obscured by discoloured/discolored varnish and a heavy layer of grime. The table needed two coats of varnish. You need a good quality varnish to protect the timber.