or lack·er

[ lak-er ]
See synonyms for: lacquerlacqueredlacquering on

  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.

  1. Also called lacquer ware, lac·quer·ware . ware, especially of wood, coated with such a varnish, and often inlaid: They collected fine Japanese lacquers.

  2. Slang. any volatile solvent that produces euphoria when inhaled.

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.

Origin of lacquer

1570–80; earlier leckar, laker<Portuguese lacre, lacar, unexplained variant of laca<Arabic lakk<Persian lâklac1

Other words from lacquer

  • lac·quer·er, noun
  • re·lac·quer, verb (used with object)
  • un·lac·quered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lacquer in a sentence

  • With marble archways, a sea-swept spa and lacquered restaurants, this place sparkles.

  • She dispenses facts like a braying machine, bobble-nodding a head of hyper-lacquered hair.

    Thandie Nails Condi | Patricia J. Williams | October 21, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • She moved now deliberately to Um's fusuma, tapping lightly on the lacquered frame.

    The Dragon Painter | Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • She then entered, placing her small lacquered clogs beside those of her husband.

    The Dragon Painter | Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • The finest of these are lacquered with silver and gold, while the harnesses and whips are made of real silver and gold.

    Ways of War and Peace | Delia Austrian
  • He threw the letter back quickly, and closed the wonderfully adjusted drawer of the lacquered table.

    The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet
  • In the meantime, have the other stuff cleaned up and lacquered; it keeps rust off, and saves the servants much trouble.

British Dictionary definitions for lacquer


/ (ˈlækə) /

  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

  1. 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

  2. Also called: hair lacquer a mixture of shellac and alcohol for spraying onto the hair to hold a style in place

  3. art decorative objects coated with such lacquer, often inlaid

  1. (tr) to apply lacquer to

Origin of lacquer

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

Derived forms of lacquer

  • lacquerer, noun

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