1. A thin surface layer, as of finely grained wood, glued to a base of inferior material.
2. Any of the thin layers glued together to make plywood.
3. A decorative facing, as of brick.
4. A deceptive, superficial show; a façade: a veneer of friendliness.
tr.v. ve·neered, ve·neer·ing, ve·neers
1. To overlay (a surface) with a thin layer of a fine or decorative material.
2. To glue together (layers of wood) to make plywood.
3. To conceal, as something common or crude, with a deceptively attractive outward show.
[Alteration of obsolete faneering, from German Furnierung, from furnieren, to furnish, veneer, from French fournir, to furnish, from Old French furnir, of Germanic origin; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.