shellac

1 of 2

noun

shel·​lac shə-ˈlak How to pronounce shellac (audio)
1
: purified lac usually prepared in thin orange or yellow flakes by heating and filtering and often bleached white
2
: a preparation of lac dissolved usually in alcohol and used chiefly as a wood filler and finish
3
a
: a composition containing shellac formerly used for making phonograph records
b
: an old 78 rpm phonograph record

shellac

2 of 2

verb

shellacked; shellacking

transitive verb

1
: to coat or otherwise treat with shellac or a shellac varnish
2
: to defeat decisively

Examples of shellac in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
As the cake cools, the glaze soaks in and forms a delicate shellac—almost like a glazed donut—on the surface. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 2 Feb. 2024 Any candy corn that’s made with shellac will list it on the package. Lauren Manaker Ms, Rdn, Verywell Health, 26 Oct. 2023 In the inconspicuous storefront with a faded sign along an industrial stretch of Herricks Road in Mineola, Long Island, across from a truck repair shop, the smell of shellac and the clatter of tools emanate from rear work rooms. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, 3 Sep. 2023 If you’ve been tempted by the approachable-looking cakes of Instagram—often topped with floppy blossoms and a casual shellac of frosting—and want to try your hand at a decorative dessert, start with a pavlova. Lauren Joseph, Vogue, 4 Aug. 2023 Once the sticky stuff is off, a new coat of shellac can go on if needed, because fresh shellac sticks to old shellac. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 But what, exactly, is shellac? Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Feb. 2023 The shapes are cut with a jigsaw and computerized router, sanded by hand, and then finished with shellac. Richard Mertens, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Mar. 2022 They’re slammed stringing together life-size calacas (skeletons), painting filigrees on skull masks, and applying shellac to faux loaves of bread and fruit to use as symbolic offerings on altars (ofrendas) to the dead. Jennifer Barger, National Geographic, 19 Oct. 2020
Verb
If this continues through Election Day, Democrats could end up getting shellacked in Senate races currently thought to lean toward them. Henry Olsen, National Review, 20 Dec. 2023 Ultimately, Amistad sinks to mere cannon fodder in a showy denouement as U.S. naval vessels shellac a slave-holding, Mediterranean prison that is only cursorily referred to in the movie. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Advertisement Whit Ayres, who has spent decades polling and strategizing for Republican candidates, described the Democratic ticket of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as the weakest since that of George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were shellacked by President Nixon in 1972. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Apart While the Dodgers are down 2-0 in the series — including an 11-2 Game 1 thumping in which regular season ace Clayton Kershaw got shellacked with six runs in the first inning — Costas has been in the broadcasting booth to call it all. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 10 Oct. 2023 And at Etro, lengths were partially shellacked to the face, a thoughtful elevation of the wet-look trend. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 25 Sep. 2023 The boneless chops are then seared until their exterior is mahogany, shellacked and charred in spots, while retaining a faint blush color and remaining juicy inside. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Retired teacher fought to save neighbors’ homes from flooding — 2:28 p.m. By John Hilliard, Globe Staff John DeCicco remembers the Blizzard of ‘78, when the region was shellacked by nearly 30 inches of snow — clogging highways, shutting down businesses, and stranding thousands in their homes. Amanda Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2023 While they’ve gotten shellacked the last two nights, the Rangers have managed to get Cody Bradford, Brock Burke, Aroldis Chapman, José Leclerc, Will Smith and Chris Stratton each at least two days off. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shellac.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

shell entry 1 + lac

First Known Use

Noun

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shellac was in 1704

Dictionary Entries Near shellac

Cite this Entry

“Shellac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shellac. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

shellac

1 of 2 noun
shel·​lac shə-ˈlak How to pronounce shellac (audio)
1
: purified lac
2
: a preparation of lac dissolved in alcohol and used as a wood filler or finish

shellac

2 of 2 verb
shellacked; shellacking
: to coat or treat with shellac

More from Merriam-Webster on shellac

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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