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coating (plural coatings)

  1. A thin outer layer.
    They painted on a coating to protect it from the weather.
    • 1943 March and April, “G.W.R. Rolling Stock Colours”, in Railway Magazine, page 106:
      "Chocolate and cream," the standard colours of G.W.R. rolling stock for 21 years, are now being replaced by an all-over utility coating of reddish-brown. This is the third time that a uniform brown has been adopted as the standard livery of G.W.R. carriages.
    • 1980, Robert M. Jones, editor, Walls and Ceilings, Time-Life Books, →ISBN, page 48:
      You can, if you like, give the completed cork wall a protective coating of sealer, stain, varnish, wax or polish, so you will be able to use liquid cleaners on it.
  2. (archaic) Cloth for making coats.
  3. (law enforcement slang) A telling-off; a reprimand.
    • 1931, The Police Journal, volume 4, page 501:
      The bogey gave him a right coating.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. present participle and gerund of coat
    We spent hours coating the truffles with cocoa powder so they wouldn't be sticky.