from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A resinous secretion of lac insects, used in making shellac.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A Middle English form of lack.
  • noun The sum of 100,000, usually of rupees.
  • noun A resinous incrustation deposited on the twigs of various trees in India and southern Asia by the lac-insect, Carteria lacca.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A resinous substance produced mainly on the banyan tree, but to some extent on other trees, by the Laccifer lacca (formerly Coccus lacca), a scale-shaped insect, the female of which fixes herself on the bark, and exudes from the margin of her body this resinous substance.
  • noun a resinous exudation of the tree Croton lacciferum, resembling lac.
  • noun a scarlet dye obtained from stick-lac.
  • noun the coloring matter of lac dye when precipitated from its solutions by alum.
  • noun an exudation of the tree Croton Draco.
  • noun East Indies One hundred thousand; also, a vaguely great number.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A resinous substance produced mainly on the banyan tree by the female of Coccus lacca, a scale-shaped insect.
  • noun One hundred thousand (commonly used in Pakistan and India).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects; used in e.g. varnishes and sealing wax


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Dutch lac or French laque, both from Old French lacce, from Medieval Latin lacca, from Arabic lakk, from Prakrit lakkhā, from Sanskrit lākṣā, red dye, resin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Portuguese laca from Persian لاک (lāk) from Hindi लाख (lākh) from Sanskrit लाक्षा (lākṣā).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Urdu لاکھ; Hindustani लाख (lākh); Sanskrit लक्षं (lakṣaṇ)


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  • This is a figure again taken from that biochemistry textbook by Voet and Voet discussing a system called the lac operon.

    Coopting cooption - The Panda's Thumb 2005

  • Now, an operon is a little segment of DN A in a bacteria which codes for a couple of genes, and genes code for proteins, and the proteins usually have related functions or function as a group, and one of them is called the lac operon which is used to, the proteins of which are necessary for the bacterium Escherichia coli to metabolize a sugar called lactose, which is a milk sugar.

    Coopting cooption - The Panda's Thumb 2005

  • The roughly-prepared coating is imported in two forms, called lac-lake and lac-dye, which contain about 50 per cent of colouring matter, combined with more or less resin, and with earthy matters, consisting chiefly of carbonate and sulphate of lime and silica.

    Field's Chromatography or Treatise on Colours and Pigments as Used by Artists George Field

  • The females never escape and after impregnation their ovaries become filled with a red fluid which forms a valuable dye known as lac dye.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes

  • One of the inductive apparatus already described (1187, &c.) had a hemispherical cup of shell-lac introduced, which being in the interval between the inner bull and the lower hemisphere, nearly occupied the space there; consequently when the apparatus was charged, the lac was the dielectric or insulating medium through which the induction took place in that part.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 Michael Faraday 1829

  • The Rajah of Benares receives from the English government an annual pension of one lac, that is, 100,000 rupees (10,000 pounds).

    A Woman's Journey Round the World Ida Pfeiffer 1827

  • In the account given by the Begum, a lac, which is for Mr. Hastings's entertainment, is entered in a suspicious neighborhood; for there is there entered a lac of rupees paid for the subahdarry sunnuds to the Mogul through the Rajah Shitab Roy.

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 10 (of 12) Edmund Burke 1763

  • In fact, no ingredient in food that starts with "lac" will ever be a problem to those with lactose intolerance.

    Lactic Acid Is Not Lactose Steve Carper 2008

  • In fact, there is no lactose in any of the "lac" additives found in ingredients lists.

    Archive 2006-06-01 Steve Carper 2006

  • In fact, there is no lactose in any of the "lac" additives found in ingredients lists.

    Lactates not Lactose Steve Carper 2006


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  • as in shellac

    August 31, 2009

  • Does anyone know if the lac beetle excretes this substance, or actually, you know, poops it?

    Seriously. I need to know. For work.

    September 11, 2009

  • Ohhhh, suuuure....


    Well, here it says that it's excreted, if that helps.

    September 11, 2009

  • "A red dyestuff that offered even more challenges to European dyers was lac, the source of both lacquer and shellac. Native to India and Southeast Asia, lac was made from the insect Laccifer lacca, which secreted a sticky resin on tree twigs. The resin, collected with the bugs still inside it, produced fiery reds on wood. The color it imparted to textiles, however, was not always so desirable. European dyers found the expensive, gummy substance hard to work with and used it primarily for dyeing leather."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 29.

    October 4, 2017