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shellacking

[shuh-lak-ing]
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noun Slang.
  1. an utter defeat: a shellacking their team will remember.
  2. a sound thrashing: His father gave him a shellacking for stealing the book.
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Origin of shellacking

First recorded in 1880–85; shellac + -ing1

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.
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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.
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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 shellacking

strike, varnish, trounce, defeat

Examples from the Web for shellacking

Contemporary Examples of shellacking

Historical Examples of shellacking

  • Shellacking of covers has been advocated by some librarians, but it is doubtful if it pays.

    Library Bookbinding

    Arthur Low Bailey

  • On no account finally connect up the battery to a circuit when shellacking the wire.

    Electric Gas Lighting

    Norman H. Schneider

  • By repeated oiling and shellacking one produces a French polish that is very durable and elastic.


British Dictionary definitions for shellacking

shellacking

noun
  1. slang, mainly US and Canadian a complete defeat; a sound beatinganyone who gives a shellacking to their bigger neighbours
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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
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verb -lacs, -lacking or -lacked (tr)
  1. to coat or treat (an article) with a shellac varnish
  2. US slang to defeat completely
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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 shellacking

shellac

n.

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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shellacking

shellacking

see take a shellacking.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.