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 lacquering (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

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Other Words from lacquer


lacquerer \ ˈla-​kər-​ər How to pronounce lacquerer (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 brand's new Dare to Wear Mood Café collection features overachieving lacquers that go above and beyond what's expected of your typical nail polish in not one, but two completely unnecessary but much appreciated ways. Marci Robin, Allure, "These “Mood” Nail Polishes Don’t Just Change Color, They Also Smell Like Coffee Flavors," 3 Sep. 2019 Artwork Soefer has collected since college hangs in the living room, including a lacquer-on-wood painting of a Vietnamese woman by the artist Bui Huu Hung placed prominently above the fireplace. Alia Akkam, House Beautiful, "You Need to See How a Sad 1920s House Was Restored to a Colorful, Pattern-Filled Home," 29 Aug. 2019 Stewart's own gradient look uses coral, yellow, and black lacquer to offset her bright neon swoosh of green liner. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kristen Stewart Test Drives Summer’s Must-Have Manicure," 28 May 2019 The old surfmen’s lockers are still here, awaiting a coat of lacquer to further preserve them. Thomas Farragher,, "A piece of Maine’s maritime history gets a lifeline," 10 July 2019 Those made of lacquer or tea paper can magnify or soften both the natural and artificial light in a space. Michelle Brunner, Twin Cities, "Room dividers — and all their old-Hollywood charm — are back," 15 June 2019 From Christian Louboutin’s minty green varnish to JINsoon’s calamine pink lacquer, here are eight polishes to wear now, weather be damned. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "8 Pastel Nail Polishes to Brighten Any Stormy Spring Day," 20 Apr. 2019 But in January 2017, the White House reportedly ordered 150 of the company’s Century II black lacquer and gold rollerball pens, which currently start at a retail price of $116. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump and Sharpie’s Maker Land in Different Kind of Storm," 5 Sep. 2019 Further analysis revealed that the lacquer was actually the source of the chromium detected by earlier researchers. National Geographic, "Ancient advanced weapon technology theory debunked by new research," 4 Apr. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For inspiration, look no further than the Resort 2019 collections, where scene-stealing signatures have run the gamut from a dark-as-night lacquered lip to one unabashedly romantic hair accessory. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The 8 Beauty Trends That Stole the Show on the Resort 2019 Runways," 14 June 2018 No paint is used, just found foliage glued and lacquered onto a stiff board. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "An ingenious Filipino artist creates mosaics with dead leaves and garlic peels," 1 Sep. 2019 The checkout girl, a sweet-faced kid with a wedding ring and lacquered black hair, was perplexed. Chris Rush, Harper's magazine, "Love and Acid," 19 Aug. 2019 The classical nightstand feels fresh and modern when lacquered in blue with a fun white stripe. Sarah Bray, House Beautiful, "How To Reimagine Vintage Pieces in a Contemporary Space," 3 Mar. 2014 In the boy’s room, a brand-new set of closet doors was lacquered and installed. Shoko Wanger, House Beautiful, "The Ultimate 90-Day Timeline for Designing a Nursery Suite," 27 May 2019 There is duck breast, featuring beautiful pink meat attached to crispy lacquered skin, accompanied by a spring roll of leg meat and vegetables. Phil Vettel,, "Review: Entente dishing up same great food in a spiffy new home," 10 June 2019 Which explains why Patridge's audience is lacquered to perfection. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Paparazzi called Audrina Patridge "bikini queen," so "The Hills" star launched a swimwear line," 7 June 2019 However, when lacquered or varnished, the material is just fine for general purposes. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Butcher-Block Countertops: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Should Know," 15 Jan. 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.

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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

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Statistics for lacquer

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for lacquer

The first known use of lacquer was in 1592

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More Definitions for lacquer


How to pronounce lacquer (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lacquer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lacquer

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


something of little or no value

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