[ shuh-lak-ing ]
See synonyms for: shellackingshellackings on

  1. an utter defeat: a shellacking their team will remember.

  2. a sound thrashing: His father gave him a shellacking for stealing the book.

Origin of shellacking

First recorded in 1880–85; shellac + -ing1

Words Nearby shellacking Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shellacking in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shellacking


/ (ʃəˈlækɪŋ, ˈʃɛlækɪŋ) /

  1. slang, mainly US and Canadian a complete defeat; a sound beating: anyone who gives a shellacking to their bigger neighbours

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with shellacking


see take a shellacking.

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