lac that has been purified and formed into thin sheets, used for making varnish.
a varnish (shellac varnish) made by dissolving this material in alcohol or a similar solvent.
a phonograph record made of a breakable material containing shellac, especially one to be played at 78 r.p.m.: an LP that can hold nearly 10 times as much as the old shellac.
verb (used with object), shel·lacked, shel·lack·ing.
to coat or treat with shellac.
- to defeat; trounce.
- to thrash soundly.
Origin of shellac
, translation of French laque en écailles
lac in thin plates
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for shellac
Historical Examples of shellac
A sine qua non is that the glass be hot enough to melt the shellac.
The cement consists of a mixture of shellac and 10 per cent of oil of cassia.
On no account must the shellac be allowed to get overheated.
It is then coated with shellac by heating and rubbing upon the shellac.
Shellac is the most common and the most useful of the spirit varnishes.
British Dictionary definitions for shellac
a yellowish resin secreted by the lac insect, esp a commercial preparation of this used in varnishes, polishes, and leather dressings
Also called: shellac varnish a varnish made by dissolving shellac in ethanol or a similar solvent
a gramophone record based on shellac
verb -lacs, -lacking or -lacked (tr)
Derived Formsshellacker, noun
to coat or treat (an article) with a shellac varnish
US slang to defeat completely
Word Origin for shellac
C18: shell + lac 1, translation of French laque en écailles, literally: lac in scales, that is, in thin plates
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shellac
1713, from shell (n.) + lac (see lacquer). Translates French laque en écailles "lac in thin plates."
1876, from shellack (n.). The slang sense of "beat soundly" is 1920s, perhaps from the notion of shellac as a "finish." Shellacked "drunk" is from 1922 (cf. plastered). Related: Shellacking.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper