- an utter defeat: a shellacking their team will remember.
- a sound thrashing: His father gave him a shellacking for stealing the book.
Origin of shellacking
- 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 shellacking
In 2010, when Democrats lost the House, Obama called it a “shellacking.”In Press Conference, Obama Turns Conciliatory—Mostly
November 6, 2014
For Paul, the shellacking is even worse, with Clinton beating him by 11 points overall and by 28 points with the kids.Hillary's Got a Millennial Problem
August 28, 2014
Many politicians who had taken a shellacking would retreat to their home base and start rebuilding a career.Mitt Romney’s Fast Fade After Losing the 2012 Presidential Race
November 8, 2012
After 2010 shellacking, Democrats belatedly embrace super PACs.Democrats Belatedly Find the Benefits of Citizens United
March 14, 2012
But that means he will have to outmaneuver a president determined to avenge the shellacking that handed Boehner the gavel.John Boehner's Reality Check
January 3, 2011
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.Hunting with the Bow and Arrow
- slang, mainly US and Canadian a complete defeat; a sound beatinganyone who gives a shellacking to their bigger neighbours
- 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
Word Origin and History for shellacking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.