shel·​lack·​ing | \ shə-ˈla-kiŋ How to pronounce shellacking (audio) \

Definition of shellacking

: a decisive defeat : drubbing

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Examples of shellacking in a Sentence

They took a shellacking in yesterday's game. suffered a shellacking at the hands of a vastly superior opposition
Recent Examples on the Web That has been true through myriad controversies, as well as impeachment by the Democratic House, a midterm election shellacking, and the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Never Trump counter-convention to target congressional Republicans," 23 May 2020 Ohio State has crushed the Wolverines' playoff hopes twice in Harbaugh's tenure, first in 2016 with a 30-27 double-overtime win in Columbus and then in 2018 with a 62-39 shellacking. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Jim Harbaugh: 'Nothing makes us angrier' than losing to Ohio State," 20 May 2020 From the pregame party to the postgame rowdy, 49ers fans squeezed every gold nugget of happiness from Sunday’s shellacking of the Green Bay Packers. Al Saracevic,, "49ers threw a huge party for the Faithful, and everyone’s hung over," 20 Jan. 2020 While energy moguls sustained the biggest shellacking in percentage terms, losses cascaded across industries and continents. Fortune, "Stock market mayhem sees Jack Ma crowned Asia’s new richest man," 10 Mar. 2020 But, in 2018, dissatisfaction with the president led to a shellacking for the GOP in the midterm elections, with suburban voters, especially women, rejecting his polarizing style. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Con-TROLLING the campaign: Trump soaks up spotlight and drives 'his opponents to distraction'," 6 Mar. 2020 The Warriors have dropped nine in a row – the last setback occurring Tuesday with a 124-97 shellacking by the Dallas Mavericks at home. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors odds, picks and best bets," 16 Jan. 2020 As if a five-game losing streak wasn’t bad enough. Perhaps worse, though, that 34-7 shellacking prompted concerns that maybe the future won’t look so bright as expected under the direction of Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals have decent history at recovering from lopsided losses," 7 Dec. 2019 After the 1984 shellacking, southern Democrats decided to lump their primaries together. The Economist, "The Economist explains Does Super Tuesday serve its intended purpose?," 28 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shellacking.' 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 shellacking

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for shellacking

Time Traveler

The first known use of shellacking was in 1931

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Statistics for shellacking

Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shellacking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce shellacking (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shellacking

US, informal : a very bad defeat

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