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also shel·lack (shə-lăk′)
1. A purified lac in the form of thin yellow or orange flakes, often bleached white and widely used in varnishes, paints, inks, sealants, and formerly in phonograph records.
2. A thin varnish made by dissolving this substance in denatured alcohol, used to finish wood.
3. An old phonograph record containing this substance, typically played at 78 rpm.
tr.v. shel·lacked, shel·lack·ing, shel·lacs also shel·lacked or shel·lack·ing or shel·lacks
1. To coat or finish with shellac.
2. Slang
a. To strike repeatedly and severely; batter.
b. To defeat decisively.

[shel(l) + lac (translation of French laque en écailles, lac in thin plates).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.shellack - cover with shellac; "She wanted to shellac the desk to protect it from water spots"
varnish, seal - cover with varnish
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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At the beginning of the 20th century, opera was still a popular form of musical entertainment, actually accessible to a much larger audience than just those capable of attending performances in major cities; brass bands, transcriptions for all sorts of instruments, performances in village squares, shellack records, barrel organs, and carillons disseminated it to a degree that is difficult to imagine today.
Noxon's death in 1842 left Eliza's sister Mary with five children and accumulated obligations to O'Brien: 262 pounds to cover expenses involved in the hatting trade--"shellack, insurance, rabbit linings, squirrel skins"--and the cost of the funeral.
But the gramophone record has existed for well over a century, the old shellack 78 for more than half that time, and precious few have survived the attics and junk shops to become valuable historical relics.