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Polish language

Polish language, member of the West Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). Polish is spoken as a first language by about 38 million people in Poland, where it is the official language; by more than 1 million in the other countries of E Europe; and by about 1 million in North America. The Polish language is written in the Roman alphabet augmented by the use of diacritical marks. It is extremely rich phonetically, having 10 vowels and 35 consonants. In pronunciation the stress is normally placed on the penultimate syllable of a word. A distinctive feature is the preservation in spoken Polish of the nasal vowels which are no longer found in the other modern Slavic tongues. As in Czech, the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives have seven cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, instrumental, and locative). The verb is inflected to indicate gender as well as person and number, and can do so without the use of the personal pronoun. There are three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and two numbers (singular and plural). A large number of diminutive and augmentative forms is also characteristic. The vocabulary of Polish is basically Slavic, but it has been enriched by borrowings from German in the Middle Ages, from Italian during the Renaissance, from French in the 17th and 18th cent., and also from English, White Russian, and Ukrainian. The earliest surviving manuscripts containing Polish words are some 12th-century Latin texts containing Polish proper names; there are no extant Polish writings of substantial length from before the 14th cent. Modern Polish came into use in the 16th cent., developing as the sophisticated and expressive language of a great literature (see Polish literature).

See A. M. Schenker, Beginning Polish (2 vol., 1966–67); S. S. Birkenmayer, Introduction to the Polish Language (2d ed. 1967).

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polish

pol·ish / ˈpälish/ • v. [tr.] make the surface of (something) smooth and shiny by rubbing it: she unloaded the dishwasher and polished the glasses. ∎  improve, refine, or add the finishing touches to: he's got to polish up his French for his job. • n. a substance used to give something a smooth and shiny surface when rubbed in: furniture polish. ∎  [in sing.] an act of rubbing something to give it a shiny surface: I could give the cabinet a polish. ∎  smoothness or glossiness produced by rubbing or friction: the machine refines the shape of the stone and gives it polish. ∎  refinement or elegance in a person or thing: his poetry has clarity and polish. PHRASAL VERBS: polish something off finish or consume something quickly: they polished off most of the sausages.DERIVATIVES: pol·ish·a·ble adj. pol·ish·er n.

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Polish

Polish National language of Poland, spoken by virtually all of the country's 39 million people. It belongs to the Slavonic family of Indo-European languages. Polish is written in the Roman (Latin) alphabet, but with a large number of diacritical marks to represent the various Slavonic vowels and consonants.

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Polish

Pol·ish / ˈpōlish/ • adj. of or relating to Poland, its inhabitants, or their language. • n. the West Slavic language of Poland.

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Polish

Polish see POLE.

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polish

polish make smooth (and glossy) by friction XIII; refine XIV. ME. polis(s) -poliss-, lengthened stem of (O)F. polir — L. polīre; see -ISH2.
Hence sb. XVI.

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Polish

Polishblackish, brackish, quackish •Frankish, prankish •clerkish, darkish, sparkish •peckish • rakish •cliquish, freakish, weakish •sickish, thickish •pinkish •hawkish, mawkish •folkish • bookish • textbookish •puckish •monkish, punkish •quirkish, Turkish •establish, stablish •Spanglish •embellish, hellish, relish •palish, Salish •English • stylish •abolish, demolish, spit-and-polish •Gaulish, smallish, tallish •owlish • Polish •coolish, foolish, ghoulish, mulish •bullish • dullish • publish •accomplish • ticklish • purplish •devilish •churlish, girlish •famish • Amish • schoolmarmish •blemish, Flemish •Hamish • squeamish • dimmish •warmish • gnomish • Carchemish •skirmish

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