• synonyms


or lack·er

See more synonyms for lacquer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a protective coating consisting of a resin, cellulose ester, or both, dissolved in a volatile solvent, sometimes with pigment added.
  2. any of various resinous varnishes, especially a resinous varnish obtained from a Japanese tree, Rhus verniciflua, used to produce a highly polished, lustrous surface on wood or the like.
  3. Also called lacquer ware, lac·quer·ware. ware, especially of wood, coated with such a varnish, and often inlaid: They collected fine Japanese lacquers.
  4. Slang. any volatile solvent that produces euphoria when inhaled.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to coat with lacquer.
  2. to cover, as with facile or fluent words or explanations cleverly worded, etc.; obscure the faults of; gloss (often followed by over): The speech tended to lacquer over the terrible conditions.
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Origin of lacquer

1570–80; earlier leckar, laker < Portuguese lacre, lacar, unexplained variant of laca < Arabic lakk < Persian lâk lac1
Related formslac·quer·er, nounre·lac·quer, verb (used with object)un·lac·quered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

gild, lacquer, tint, illuminate, wash, enliven, embellish, paint, darken, infuse, dye, stain, face, finish, polish, enamel, coat, gloss, cover, surface

Examples from the Web for lacquered

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her lacquered pillow, with its bright cushion, rocked as she stirred.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa

  • There were lacquered chests and cases of drawers, all filled with clothing.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa

  • Lacquered wooden-ware is sold all over Europe and the United States.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • He glided through the lacquered door and closed it behind him.

    The Hour of the Dragon

    Robert E. Howard

  • Its corners were strengthened with sheet iron, lacquered black.

    The Joys of Being a Woman

    Winifred Kirkland

British Dictionary definitions for lacquered


  1. a hard glossy coating made by dissolving cellulose derivatives or natural resins in a volatile solvent
  2. a black resinous substance, obtained from certain trees, used to give a hard glossy finish to wooden furniture
  3. lacquer tree Also called: varnish tree an E Asian anacardiaceous tree, Rhus verniciflua, whose stem yields a toxic exudation from which black lacquer is obtained
  4. Also called: hair lacquer a mixture of shellac and alcohol for spraying onto the hair to hold a style in place
  5. art decorative objects coated with such lacquer, often inlaid
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  1. (tr) to apply lacquer to
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Derived Formslacquerer, noun

Word Origin

C16: from obsolete French lacre sealing wax, from Portuguese laca lac 1
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 lacquered



1570s as "dye obtained from lac;" 1670s as "lacquer," from obsolete French lacre, name for a kind of sealing wax, from Portuguese lacre, unexplained variant of lacca "resinous substance," from Arabic lakk, from Persian lak (see lac).

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"cover or coat with laqueur," 1680s, from lacquer (n.). Related: Lacquered; lacquering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper