The act of trying to make something hopelessly weak and unattractive appear strong and appealing. An impossible process that usually results in a larger, uglier turd.
She tried to look more attractive by getting plastic surgery, but let's face it, you can't polish a turd.
An engineering term referring to the process of examining a product, process, or system for defects, fixing the defects, then repeating as new defects appear, instead of re-engineering the solution with fewer defects.
"In other words, you attack your firewall / software / website / whatever from the outside, identify a flaw in it, fix the flaw, and then go back to looking. One of my programmer buddies refers to this process as 'turd polishing' because, as he says, it doesn't make your code any less smelly in the long run but management might enjoy its improved, shiny, appearance in the short term. "