shellac

or shel·lack

[ shuh-lak ]
/ ʃəˈlæk /

noun

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.
Slang.
  1. to defeat; trounce.
  2. to thrash soundly.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. shell star,
  2. shell steak,
  3. shell suit,
  4. shell-like,
  5. shell-shocked,
  6. shellacking,
  7. shellback,
  8. shellbark,
  9. shellcracker,
  10. shelled

Origin of shellac

1705–15; shell + lac1, translation of French laque en écailles lac in thin plates

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shellac


British Dictionary definitions for shellac

shellac

/ (ʃəˈlæk, ˈʃɛlæk) /

noun

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)

to coat or treat (an article) with a shellac varnish
US slang to defeat completely
Derived Formsshellacker, noun

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for shellac
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper