Acrylic is a kind of plastic, fabric, fiber, or paint that's made from acrylic acid. You might knit your mom an acrylic hat if she's allergic to wool.

Anything made of acrylic is synthetic — it's not a natural substance or fiber, but was made in a lab or factory from artificial materials. Acrylic paint is a quick-drying, water-soluble kind of paint that artists often use instead of oil paint or watercolors. The original meaning of acrylic was "containing acryl," from acrolein, the sharp, bitter liquid in onions, rooted in the Latin words acer, "sharp," and olere, "to smell."

Definitions of acrylic

n a glassy thermoplastic; can be cast and molded or used in coatings and adhesives

acrylate resin, acrylic resin
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Acrilan, polypropenonitrile
acrylic resin used to make a strong soft crease-resistant fabric (trade name Acrilan)
polymethyl methacrylate
a transparent plastic used as a substitute for glass
Lucite, Perspex
a transparent thermoplastic acrylic resin
Plexiglas, plexiglass
a light transparent weather resistant thermoplastic
Type of:
synthetic resin
a resin having a polymeric structure; especially a resin in the raw state; used chiefly in plastics

n a synthetic fabric

an acrylic fabric resembling wool
an acrylic fiber or the lightweight crease-resistant fabric made with Orlon yarns
Type of:
cloth, fabric, material, textile
artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers

n polymerized from acrylonitrile

acrylic fiber
Type of:
man-made fiber, synthetic fiber
fiber created from natural materials or by chemical processes

n used especially by artists

acrylic paint
Type of:
paint, pigment
a substance used as a coating to protect or decorate a surface (especially a mixture of pigment suspended in a liquid); dries to form a hard coating

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