Definition of acrylic in US English:



  • 1(of synthetic resins and textile fibers) made from polymers of acrylic acid or acrylates.

    ‘a red acrylic sweater’
    • ‘Wool is much warmer than cotton or acrylic fibers, probably because it comes from animals, and biology usually knows what it's doing.’
    • ‘These irritants can include soaps, detergents, cosmetics, wool and acrylic clothing, linens, and perfumes.’
    • ‘It is used in the synthesis of acrylic fibers used in the manufacture of clothing.’
    • ‘Synthetic blends such as olefin and acrylic fibers draw moisture away from the body better than cotton, preventing chills.’
    • ‘We developed several outdoor projects with an acrylic fabric often used for boat covers because it's resistant to mildew, water, and fading and it can be cleaned with a hose.’
    • ‘Six families were evacuated from their homes as the blaze destroyed a spinning room and warehouse full of acrylic fibres.’
    • ‘We used a water- and stain-resistant acrylic fabric designed for outdoor use.’
    • ‘Although these hobby weavers were using acrylic yarns, their skills caught the eye of expert weaver Rachel Brown when she came to the area to teach a spinning class.’
    • ‘There's a knit, fleece, cotton, or acrylic warmer waiting for you.’
    • ‘And she sported a pair of white cotton shorts on the beach and an acrylic and cotton blend sweater along with some white sneakers.’
    • ‘A match or cigarette dropped on an acrylic blanket can ignite the fabric which will burn rapidly unless extinguished.’
    • ‘This crack filler contains river sand in an acrylic polymer, which first appears milky white but dries clear and leaves only the speckled colored sand exposed.’
    • ‘I knit with acrylic yarn all of the time, and there are some yarns that I really like.’
    • ‘It's a superwash wool and acrylic blend that I've used before, so I know it won't shrink.’
    • ‘The fuel is a coating of an acrylic polymer or a droplet of water that sits on the foil.’
    • ‘They are both seed stitch patterns, made with acrylic yarn.’
    • ‘It's a wool / acrylic mix yarn that I picked up as a job lot in a wool shop sale.’
    • ‘Each time your brother scratches at the uncomfortable acrylic sweater Mom gave him, offer him some lotion.’
    • ‘Synthetic stuccos consist of sand suspended in a mixture of acrylic polymer, latex and pigments.’
    • ‘All of the cloth bags are held together by an acrylic cord, and are stored in the cartridge case.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to or denoting paints based on acrylic resin as a medium.
      ‘acrylic colors’
      ‘an acrylic painting’
      • ‘So I went to the craft store and bought some new colors of acrylic craft paint and medium for fabric.’
      • ‘The colors are also computer-generated and matched in acrylic paint that is applied to canvas in smooth layers.’
      • ‘I painted the bevel with a mix of acrylic paint in a dark blue color to match the sky in the etching.’
      • ‘Altered with gesso, acrylic paint, black and flesh-pink tar gel as well as collage, the pages of her diary were installed along a wall in a four-part grid.’
      • ‘At my request, the painters use just three colors of acrylic paint (tempera paint or oil pastels would do nicely, too).’
      • ‘With a light touch, fill in the design with acrylic paints or watercolors; create light and dark areas to give the image depth.’
      • ‘Ranging from flat and opaque to glasslike, Appel's acrylic paint is clearly hand-applied but with varying degrees of visible brushwork.’
      • ‘They then painted the outlines of their face and facial features with a dark color of acrylic paint, tracing their pencil sketch through the Plexiglas.’
      • ‘The acrylic paint is solid, the color even, giving the arcs a heft almost equal to that of the stone and plaster around them.’
      • ‘Starr's basic method for the past couple of years has been to pour acrylic paint - many gallons of it - directly into a variety of big, industrial sponges.’
      • ‘Using acrylic paint and glass medium, paint your design on the tile (or the underside for better protection).’
      • ‘Try water colours, acrylic paints, pastels and coloured paper, coloured modelling clay, ordinary air-drying clay, origami paper, rubber printing stamps and gel pens.’
      • ‘He mixes his acrylic paints right on the canvases spread out on the floor, and paints very quickly.’
      • ‘The gallery will present his reproductions painted in not only watercolor, but also gouache and acrylic paints.’
      • ‘Detached from canvas or ground, acrylic paint proves itself here to be a surprisingly supple sculptural material.’
      • ‘Children under 10 may be encouraged to paint faces rather than carving them, using poster paints or acrylic paints.’
      • ‘These water based acrylic paints are quick drying and easy to use.’
      • ‘Sculpted of polyurethane resin and acrylic paint, the tableau rests on a shallow platform about 23 feet long and 14 feet wide.’
      • ‘I was able to imitate the moulding's finish by base coating the wood with red acrylic paint, then applying a coat of black semi-gloss paint.’
      • ‘Paint on your colors using acrylic paints (test pots are ideal and come in a variety of colors).’


  • 1An acrylic textile fiber.

    ‘a sweater in four-ply acrylic’
    • ‘A different tax regime for blended textiles and pure non-cotton (polyester, viscose, acrylic and nylon).’
    • ‘They're black-and-white striped with a simple red-and-gray star at the top of each one, and they're made of acrylic, so they're not all itchy.’
    • ‘Made from a blend of virgin wool, acrylic and polyester, this jersey will surely yield a perfect fit.’
    • ‘There are many types of synthetic and natural fibres, such as polynosic, polyester, modal, acrylic, cotton, and so on.’
    • ‘Most of the yarns were classic yarns in wool, acrylic, cotton, alpaca, etc.’
    • ‘Most currently available chenille is acrylic, which is very difficult to dye.’
    • ‘Come to think of it, I would also avoid acrylic for a bedspread, after all, all that work means heirloom and it should had been done in a much better yarn.’
    • ‘So I just made my own out of acrylic, and it works exactly the same.’
    • ‘It's not that I have anything against acrylic, I just prefer to knit with natural fibers.’
    • ‘They aim to knit one square per knitter, per week - that's about 2 hours work per square - but they need more yarn: wool or acrylic is fine.’
    • ‘Most synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, acrylic or polyester resist ignition.’
    • ‘The canopy on an F - 18 Hornet is made of stretched acrylic.’
    • ‘As Judith notes, it is challenging to dye acrylic & probably not worth the trouble.’
    • ‘Opt for a blend of wool and acrylic, usually a 50/50 split.’
    • ‘Are we depleting our supplies of rayon and acrylic?’
  • 2often acrylicsAn acrylic paint.

    ‘washes of white acrylic’
    • ‘He paints in oils and acrylics with a unique sense of color and shape.’
    • ‘Susan does yoga and paints with acrylics on canvas, doing portraits, still lifes, and landscapes.’
    • ‘The company deals in originals, oils, acrylics, watercolors and serigraphs.’
    • ‘Starting by recreating old maps and lithographs, she moved on to a more vivid and free form of expression in paint through acrylics, water colours, and charcoal.’
    • ‘These smaller collages of acrylic and fabric on canvas include a pitcher holding a few flowers and several tree- or leaf-shaped icons.’
    • ‘As an all-round artist, Ruth has recently taken up her painting again, producing stunning images in vibrant acrylic on canvas with prices starting at €150.’
    • ‘Anna Peters's work, by comparison, is a lot looser, cartoony drawings on paper plates, paper, acrylic on canvas are jokey one shot reflexive gags.’
    • ‘Levine has been a lifelong artist who deals with the abstract in his photography, watercolors, oils, acrylics, mixed media and metal sculpture.’
    • ‘At first, Gray painted on canvas using acrylics.’
    • ‘In the tents one could see artists painting with watercolours, acrylics pastels, or demonstrating encaustic painting.’
    • ‘Nai focuses on flowers and paints in a variety of media, including watercolors, gouache, acrylics, oils and tempera.’
    • ‘She was a life-long nonsmoker and an artist, painting with watercolor and acrylics.’
    • ‘Waterford City features in the exhibition, which consists of 16 paintings, all acrylic on canvas, depicting streetscapes of Ireland.’
    • ‘Rachael says initially she uses different layers of acrylic to build up a painted surface on the canvas, a layered process of paint and latex.’
    • ‘The show featured a bouquet of oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels and a mix of colorful springtime florals and landscapes.’
    • ‘She worked originally as a sculptor, later going into oil painting and has spent the last 25 years working in transparent watercolor and acrylics.’
    • ‘Each of the works shown is 50 x 50 inches, both acrylic on canvas, with a suggested retail of $15,000.’
    • ‘Scissors Jack ‘For Jean’ is a striding, confident acrylic on canvas of almost 8 by 12 feet.’
    • ‘He has chosen acrylic on canvas to portray his thoughts.’
    • ‘You might substitute another medium for tempera paint, such as acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels or chalk pastels.’


Mid 19th century: from the liquid aldehyde acrolein (from Latin acer, acri- ‘pungent’ + ol(eum) ‘oil’ + -in)+ -yl + -ic.