lac·​quer | \ ˈla-kər How to pronounce lacquer (audio) \

Definition of lacquer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a spirit varnish (such as shellac)
b : any of various durable natural varnishes especially : a varnish obtained from an Asian sumac (Rhus verniciflua)

called also Japanese lacquer

2 : any of various clear or colored synthetic organic coatings that typically dry to form a film by evaporation of the solvent especially : a solution of a cellulose derivative (such as nitrocellulose)


lacquered; lacquering\ ˈla-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce lacquer (audio) \

Definition of lacquer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to coat with or as if with lacquer
2 : to give a smooth finish or appearance to : make glossy lacquered her hair

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lacquer


lacquerer \ ˈla-​kər-​ər How to pronounce lacquer (audio) \ noun

Examples of lacquer in a Sentence

Noun Many coats of lacquer were applied to the table.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The blue lacquer dial is paired with a black ceramic case. Carol Besler, Robb Report, "The Dial as Canvas: 5 Artists Who Turned High-End Watches Into Paintings That Tick," 27 Apr. 2021 Glossy aesthetic aside, a lacquer coating can make your pallets more durable and fill any jagged edges. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to DIY a Bed Frame Using Wood Pallets in a Few Easy Steps," 22 Apr. 2021 The massive tiered brass-and-white lacquer chandelier (from the Aerin collection by Visual Comfort) adds a hint of glamour to the serene space. Laura Kostelny, Southern Living, "Inside a Fort Worth Home Filled With Family Heirlooms and Modern Charm," 2 Apr. 2021 The bottle's cap is handcrafted using the Olinalá lacquer technique originated in Guerrero as well. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "This Luxury Tequila Brand Is Honoring a Lesser-known Region of Mexico With a New Mezcal," 29 Mar. 2021 Gel polishes can be harsh on nails, but this 12-free lacquer is a gentle alternative. Jennifer Ford, Forbes, "The Nontoxic Nail Polishes You Will Never Get Tired Of Wearing," 20 Apr. 2021 Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese art that involves reassembling shattered pieces of broken pottery with gold lacquer. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "This Austin Resort Is Hosting a Bluebonnet Festival With Wildflower Meditation and Photography Classes," 13 Apr. 2021 The store, which features high-polish black lacquer furniture with chrome accents, will display the brand’s signature Astronomia and Twin Turbo models, along with fine and high jewelry. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, "Jacob & Co.’s Insane Watches Are Now Availble at a Pop-Up Shop in Miami," 13 Apr. 2021 The guitar’s two-piece body has also been finished in Relic lacquer that’s been scratched and scuffed just like McCready’s very own instrument. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Fender Created a Replica of His 1960 Stratocaster—Complete With Scratches," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And like a lot of hokum, Barry Levinson’s lacquered ode to the majesty of baseball — and Robert Redford — is still hard to resist. Los Angeles Times, "‘Bridesmaids’ or ‘The Fifth Element’? It’s Week 2 of the #UltimateSummerMovie Showdown," 5 May 2020 The book showcases photographs of 250 striking objects: lacquered chopsticks, bento boxes, stainless steel teapots, calligraphy brushes, Shoji sliding doors, Sori Yanagi butterfly stools, Issey Miyake kimonos, and Kikkoman soy sauce bottles. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Books to Read if You're Dreaming of Japan," 30 Mar. 2020 In the house on Bainbridge Island where Ms. Gooden lives with her husband, Bill LeMire, Ms. Gooden has Hisaye’s iron kettle, bamboo ladles and lacquered natsume (wooden canisters) for tea ceremony. Hannah Kirshner, New York Times, "In Japanese New Year Dishes, a Family Connects With Its Past," 24 Dec. 2019 Old wood end tables can be lacquered black for a classic look. Washington Post, "5 ways to give your home a green reboot," 22 Jan. 2020 The original moldings in the library are lacquered in a high-gloss aubergine, which offsets artworks by Rose Wylie and David Benjamin Sherry. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "How One Globe-Trotting Retail Guru Creates a Cool and Collected Home," 17 Oct. 2019 Curving walls, lacquered wood, marble, granite, porcelain tile, curving glass, new roof. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Pavel Datsyuk's $4.5M home in Bloomfield Twp. includes panic room, theater," 7 Dec. 2019 Near the front was a gorgeous, community wood table, lacquered and smooth after being kiln-baked in Mexico. Michael Mayo,, "Review: Art and whimsy at Wild Thyme Oceanside Eatery in Fort Lauderdale," 12 Dec. 2019 Highly aromatic sourdough cardamom buns lacquered with a deliciously sticky-sweet glaze. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "This Hotel Breakfast Turned Me Into a Morning Person," 15 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lacquer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lacquer


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lacquer


Portuguese lacré sealing wax, from laca lac, from Arabic lakk, from Persian lak — more at lac

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lacquer

Time Traveler for lacquer

Time Traveler

The first known use of lacquer was in 1592

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lacquer

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lacquer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lacquer



English Language Learners Definition of lacquer

: a liquid that is spread on wood or metal and that dries to form a hard and shiny surface


lac·​quer | \ ˈla-kər How to pronounce lacquer (audio) \

Kids Definition of lacquer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a material like varnish that dries quickly into a shiny layer (as on wood or metal)


lacquered; lacquering

Kids Definition of lacquer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to coat with lacquer

More from Merriam-Webster on lacquer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lacquer

Nglish: Translation of lacquer for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lacquer

Comments on lacquer

What made you want to look up lacquer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!