Definition of shellac in English:



  • Lac resin melted into thin flakes, used for making varnish.

    • ‘New biocontrol coatings for fruit are being made of reformulated shellac and sucrose ester, a compound derived by combining sugar with a fatty acid.’
    • ‘However, the wax used is derived from natural sources like food-grade shellac, which comes from the secretion of a lac bug, it is pointed out.’
    lacquer, lac, shellac, japan, enamel, glaze, polish, oil, resin, wax
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  • 1Varnish (something) with shellac.

    • ‘You have to be involved on a daily basis with the intimate details of it - down to cleaning the bathrooms and shellacking the floor.’
    • ‘Whether you choose to paint, stain, shellac, or just leave the natural color depends on the type of wood from which you built the project and how you want it to weather.’
    • ‘And she'd be dolled up for it, too, her dyed red hair shellacked into an indestructible coif, resplendent in a velour maxi lounging gown and jewel-encrusted slippers.’
    • ‘Like that time I tried to drive to New Hampshire to listen to Dean speak but my car was shellacked over with so much ice I couldn't open the doors.’
    • ‘Others agreed, so the bun was shellacked and set up for display.’
    • ‘The reason their hair is sprayed and shellacked to within an inch of its life is that old women with that look only get their hair washed and styled when they make their weekly pilgrimage to the hairdresser.’
    • ‘And yesterday, when some 22 lives were taken from their owners and their families and all who loved them, I felt deeply ashamed: because after the initial shock I felt nothing, as if my skin had been shellacked over.’
    • ‘These were removed and the holes filled with an Araldite epoxy; the finish was built back up and then gained and shellacked to be consistent with the case sides.’
    • ‘Boots that have been enameled or shellacked can only be treated with hot wax after they have been thoroughly cleaned to remove the previous coating.’
    • ‘He also offers an edible alternative, though it may peel and get mouldy if you don't shellac it, since basically you're making pie filling without any sugar or fruit.’
    • ‘Of course, Tom was probably too busy shellacking his hair and buffing his chin to notice.’
    • ‘The shoes dry for a day, then she shellacs them again.’
    • ‘With plastic surgery becoming so common it's getting harder and harder to tell who has been nipped, tucked, pulled and shellacked.’
  • 2North American informal Defeat or beat (someone) decisively.

    ‘they were shellacked in the 1982 election’
    • ‘Hillary Clinton called for an ideological truce within the Democratic Party, she was shellacked by liberal bloggers.’
    • ‘Nobody wants to hear how badly your team will shellac its opponents, especially before the game even starts.’
    • ‘But after UT got shellacked last week, I'm not so sure anymore.’
    • ‘The inevitable critical comparisons to his own power trio couldn't have been lost on him, but he nevertheless shellacked Opposition with the same sonic bleakness he reserves for himself.’
    • ‘It could easily have been a 20 goal shellacking.’
    • ‘Lyndon Johnson had just shellacked Barry Goldwater, winning with 61 percent of the vote.’
    • ‘Fire the male team boss, because his team got shellacked by the girls?’
    • ‘After a 3-0 shellacking at the hands of England earlier this year, Spain rebounded to become the first team to defeat France in almost two years.’
    • ‘You are one win away from the play-offs and you get blown out, destroyed, shellacked, embarrassed, humiliated and ELIMINATED by the Pistons?’
    • ‘Just two days after shellacking the Kings, the Lakers came back and whooped on the T-Wolves like they were a college team.’
    • ‘After the Lakers play the Pacers, you don't have representatives of both teams out arguing that their side shellacked the opposition.’
    • ‘On the flip side, the back line was absolutely magnificent, it stood resolutely between an inevitable beating and a horrendous shellacking; time and again the young defenders repulsed attack, reorganised and regrouped the side.’
    • ‘Given this 30-point shellacking and their 0-2 deficit, the Hornets may have dug a hole too deep to climb out of…’
    • ‘It was the second straight shellacking Pierce has taken in a Grand Slam final.’
    • ‘Elliott made 33 saves on 41 shots as he watched his teammates get out-worked and out-hustled in an 8-0 shellacking.’
    • ‘Not only were the Glasgow players strong enough to withstand a ten-minute shellacking from Munster before half-time last weekend that effectively won them the match, but they out-muscled Cardiff last night too.’
    • ‘Expect no reprieve, as the stock market is likely to get shellacked next week by more languid earnings and deep-seated investor mistrust…’
    • ‘When we conservatives got shellacked in 1964-with Goldwater losing 61 percent - 39 percent to Lyndon Johnson - we knew we had a lot of work ahead if we were going to educate the public to our views.’
    • ‘The Easton Guys started off the weekend with a bang and found the zone offensively as the bats exploded for a 22-1 shellacking of the Hi-Lites from Okotoks, AB.’
    • ‘The defenders had been bombed and napalmed by Japanese airplanes, shellacked by Japanese artillery and doused with poison gas, and they had no ammunition of their own left to fight back.’
    defeat, beat, best, get the better of, gain the advantage over, prevail over, triumph over, gain a victory over, trounce, rout, thrash, drub, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, crush, subdue, subjugate
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Mid 17th century: from shell + lac, translating French laque en écailles lac in thin plates.