shellac

or shel·lack

[shuh-lak]
noun
  1. lac that has been purified and formed into thin sheets, used for making varnish.
  2. a varnish (shellac varnish) made by dissolving this material in alcohol or a similar solvent.
  3. 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.
  1. to coat or treat with shellac.
  2. Slang.
    1. to defeat; trounce.
    2. to thrash soundly.

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. 2018

Related Words for shellacked

strike, varnish, trounce, defeat

Examples from the Web for shellacked

Contemporary Examples of shellacked

  • In 1982, when Reagan got shellacked in the midterm elections, the unemployment rate was near 11 percent.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Lousy Economy Won't Sink Obama

    Peter Beinart

    June 6, 2011

  • Just ask Bob Inglis, the South Carolina congressman, who was shellacked by primary challenger Trey Gowdy in June.

    The Daily Beast logo
    South Carolina's GOP Civil War

    Samuel P. Jacobs

    September 21, 2010

Historical Examples of shellacked


British Dictionary definitions for shellacked

shellac

noun
  1. a yellowish resin secreted by the lac insect, esp a commercial preparation of this used in varnishes, polishes, and leather dressings
  2. Also called: shellac varnish a varnish made by dissolving shellac in ethanol or a similar solvent
  3. a gramophone record based on shellac
verb -lacs, -lacking or -lacked (tr)
  1. to coat or treat (an article) with a shellac varnish
  2. 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 shellacked

shellac

n.

1713, from shell (n.) + lac (see lacquer). Translates French laque en écailles "lac in thin plates."

shellac

v.

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