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Updated. February 18, 2024 10:59:16

Definition and meaning of Shellac in english, hindi, urdu, tamil, marathi. (History, Types, Phrases, Examples, Synonyms, Antonyms). What is Shellac? – ( Date. July 25, 2023 11:45:01 )

Shellac Definition

Shellac Definition: Shellac is a natural resinous substance obtained from the secretions of the lac insect, commonly known as the “Lac bug” (scientifically named Kerria lacca). These insects feed on specific trees, such as the “Ficus religiosa” (sacred fig) and the “Ficus indica” (banyan tree), and produce a resin to create a protective cocoon-like shell around themselves.

To harvest shellac, the branches of the host trees are cut, and the insect-encrusted twigs are collected. The shellac resin is then separated from the twigs, washed, and processed into various forms. The most common forms of shellac available in the market are shellac flakes, which are small, thin, and brittle pieces of the resin.

Shellac has been used for centuries as a versatile and natural product with various applications, including:

  • Wood Finishing: Shellac is a popular natural varnish used to finish and protect wooden surfaces. It provides a glossy, durable, and water-resistant coating.
  • French Polishing: It is a technique of applying multiple thin layers of shellac with a pad to create a high-gloss finish on furniture and musical instruments.
  • Sealing: Shellac acts as an excellent sealer for porous materials like wood, helping to prevent the bleeding of stains or dyes.
  • Food Glazing: Shellac is used in the food industry as a glazing agent for candies, pills, and certain fruits to enhance their appearance and prolong shelf life.
  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Applications: Shellac is used in some pharmaceutical pills and as a component in cosmetic products.
  • Electrical Insulation: Shellac was historically used as an electrical insulator for components like capacitors and windings.
  • Art and Craft Applications: Artists use shellac as a component in painting mediums and for various crafts.

One significant property of shellac is that it can be dissolved in alcohol to create a liquid solution, making it easy to apply. The shade of shellac can vary from pale yellow to dark orange-brown, depending on the refinement process and the type of host tree the lac insects feed on. Dewaxed shellac, which has had its natural wax content removed, is transparent and is often preferred in certain applications where color clarity is essential.

Word History

Word History of Shellac: The word “shellac” has an interesting history that dates back to the 18th century. It is derived from the Indian language Sanskrit, where “śālacā” refers to the insect (Kerria lacca) that produces the resinous substance. The insect feeds on certain trees and secretes a protective resin as a coating over its body to create a cocoon-like shell. This resin was collected, refined, and used as a natural varnish or lacquer in various applications.


Types of Shellac: Shellac is primarily classified into three types based on its refining process and appearance:

  • Seedlac: This is the raw, unrefined shellac obtained by scraping the resin directly from the branches of the host trees.
  • Buttonlac: Seedlac is melted and poured into button-like molds, resulting in shellac buttons.
  • Dewaxed Shellac: Seedlac is further processed to remove the wax, resulting in a transparent and more refined shellac.


Phrases of Shellac:

  • Shellac finish.
  • Shellac polish.
  • Applying shellac to wood.
  • Shellac-coated surfaces.
  • Dewaxed shellac flakes.
  • Shellac resin extraction.
  • Shellac as a natural varnish.
  • Restoring antique furniture with shellac.
  • French polishing with shellac.
  • Lac bugs produce shellac.


Interpretations of Shellac:

  • Shellac as a protective coating: Shellac is widely used as a natural varnish to protect wood and other materials.
  • Traditional craftsmanship: Shellac has a long history of being used in traditional woodworking and furniture finishing techniques.
  • Versatility: Shellac can be used as a polish, a sealer, or a binder in various industries.
  • Natural and eco-friendly: Shellac is a natural product, making it a preferable choice for environmentally conscious consumers.
  • High-gloss finish: Shellac can produce a shiny, glossy finish when polished properly.

Usage Examples

Usage Examples Sentence of Shellac:

  • The skilled artisan applied several layers of shellac to the antique cabinet to restore its original luster.
  • The violin maker used shellac to seal and protect the delicate wood of the instrument.
  • The craftsman achieved a beautiful French polish on the tabletop using a mixture of shellac and alcohol.
  • The furniture restorer removed the old shellac finish before applying a new one.
  • The woodworker prefers to use dewaxed shellac for its clarity and ease of use.
  • Shellac is a popular choice for finishing fine woodworking projects due to its natural properties.
  • The vintage gramophone was meticulously coated with shellac to bring out its timeless beauty.
  • The painter mixed pigments with shellac to create a unique and durable paint for the artwork.
  • Many food products use shellac as a glazing agent to improve their appearance and prolong shelf life.
  • The antique dealer recommended using shellac to preserve the original patina of the rare coin.


  • Similar words: Varnish, lacquer, polish, resin


  • Opposite words: Dull, unvarnished, untreated, raw
Shellac Definition Meaning - What is Shellac?
Shellac Definition Meaning – What is Shellac?

Shellac Meaning

What is Shellac? The term “shellac” can refer to two related meanings:

  • Shellac as a natural resin: Shellac is a resinous substance derived from the secretions of the lac insect (Kerria lacca). The insect feeds on certain trees and produces a protective resin, which is collected, processed, and used as a natural varnish or lacquer in various applications, such as wood finishing, French polishing, and glazing agent in the food industry.
  • Shellac as a verb: “Shellac” can also be used as a verb, which means to coat or treat something with shellac, typically referring to the process of applying the shellac resin as a finish or protective coating on a surface.

Both of these meanings are closely related, as the term “shellac” is used both for the resinous substance and the process of using it as a coating.


Shellac Meaning in English: In English, “shellac” refers to a natural resinous substance obtained from the secretions of the lac insect, used as a varnish or polish, and to describe the process of applying this substance to various materials.

Shellac Meaning in Hindi: In Hindi, “शैलैक” (shellac) एक प्राकृतिक राल द्रव्य है जो लैक की स्रावन से प्राप्त किया जाता है, जिसे वर्निश या पॉलिश के रूप में उपयोग किया जाता है और इस द्रव्य को विभिन्न सामग्रियों पर लगाने की प्रक्रिया को वर्णित करने के लिए इस शब्द का प्रयोग किया जाता है।

Shellac Meaning in Urdu: In Urdu, “شیلاک” (shellac) ایک قدرتی رال دوا کی گئی چیز ہے جو لیک کی مادہ نکالنے سے حاصل کی جاتی ہے، جو وارنش یا پالش کے طور پر استعمال کی جاتی ہے اور اس مادہ کو مختلف سامان پر لگانے کی عملیات کو بیان کرنے کے لئے یہ لفظ استعمال کیا جاتا ہے۔

Shellac Meaning in Tamil: In Tamil, “ஷெலாக்” (shellac) ஒரு இயற்கை கறுவியின் இடுப்பின் களைவில் உருவாகும் ஒரு இரும்பு ஆகும், மரச்செடி அல்லது பிளாஸ்டிக் அனுப்பு போன்ற பொருள்களுக்கு மர்மமாக விளக்க அல்லது மிகுந்த பிடிப்பு கொடுத்து விடுகிறது.

Shellac Meaning in Marathi: In Marathi, “शैलॅक” (shellac) अशा प्रकारच्या वनस्पतींच्या शाखांवरून सींदूर पिसताना मिळवलेलं असलेलं काट वज्रीचं एक असे प्राकृतिक रालद्रव्य ज्याचा उपयोग व्हारसाळ असलेल्या सामग्र्यांवर लागवडीसाठी केला जातो. यात्रेच्या प्रक्रिया म्हणजे सुट्ट्याची चांगली पट्टी असलेल्या लकडींची रवटी किंवा लकडींच्या पट्टींवर लागवडी करणे


What does the slang shellac mean?

In slang terms, “shellac” can mean to defeat or beat someone decisively, often in a game or competition. It is used to describe a complete and overwhelming victory.

What is shellac made of?

Shellac is a natural resin secreted by the female lac bug, found mainly in India and Thailand. It is processed into a refined form and used as a coating or finish for various surfaces, such as wood, metal, or even as a nail polish.

Why shellac is better?

Shellac is often considered better than other finishes or coatings because it provides a durable, glossy, and protective layer. It has excellent adhesive properties and can enhance the appearance of the surface it is applied to.

Is shellac safe to use?

When used as a finish or coating, shellac is generally safe. It is non-toxic and does not emit harmful fumes once it has dried. However, individuals with specific allergies or sensitivities may experience reactions, so it’s advisable to use appropriate safety measures and follow proper application guidelines.