- 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.
- to coat or treat with shellac.
- to defeat; trounce.
- to thrash soundly.
Origin of shellac
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for 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.Handwork in Wood
- 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
- to coat or treat (an article) with a shellac varnish
- US slang to defeat completely
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