[ uh-kril-ik ]
/ əˈkrɪl ɪk /


of or derived from acrylic acid.


a paint, prepared especially for artists, in which an acrylic resin serves as a vehicle.
a painting done with this type of paint: She sold several acrylics during the show.

Origin of acrylic

First recorded in 1855–60; acr(olein) + -yl + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acrylic

British Dictionary definitions for acrylic


/ (əˈkrɪlɪk) /


of, derived from, or concerned with acrylic acid


a paint or colour containing acrylic resin

Word Origin for acrylic

C20: from acrolein + -yl + -ic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for acrylic



1855, "of or containing acryl," name of a radical from acrolein (1843), the name of a liquid in onions and garlic that makes eyes tear, from Latin acer "sharp" (see acrid) + olere "to smell" (see odor) + -in (see -ine (2)). With adjectival suffix + -ic. Modern senses often short for acrylic fiber, acrylic resin, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for acrylic


[ ə-krĭlĭk ]

An acrylic resin.
A paint containing acrylic resin.
An acrylic fiber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.