noun \ˈmā-ˌkəp\

: the way in which something is put together or arranged

: the physical, mental, and moral character of a person

: substances (such as lipstick or powder) used to make someone's face look more attractive

Full Definition of MAKEUP

a :  the way in which the parts or ingredients of something are put together :  composition
b :  physical, mental, and moral constitution
a :  the operation of making up especially pages for printing
b :  design or layout of printed matter
a (1) :  cosmetics used to color and beautify the face (2) :  a cosmetic applied to other parts of the body
b :  materials (as wigs and cosmetics) used in making up or in special costuming (as for a play)
:  replacement; specifically :  material added (as in a manufacturing process) to replace material that has been used up <makeup water>
:  something that makes up for a previous postponement, omission, failure, or deficiency <a makeup exam>

Examples of MAKEUP

  1. His daring attitude toward risks is a major part of his makeup.
  2. She put on some makeup before the party.
  3. She applied her makeup lightly.
  4. She's too young to wear makeup.
  5. put on makeup for a play
  6. I didn't recognize him when he was in his theatrical makeup.

First Known Use of MAKEUP


Other Fashion Terms

bodkin, chignon, cowlick, eau de toilette, imperial, pocket, pomander, tonsorial

Rhymes with MAKEUP


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the performing arts, material used by actors for cosmetic purposes and to help create the characters they play. Not needed in Greek and Roman theatre because of the use of masks, makeup was used in the religious plays of medieval Europe, in which the angels' faces were painted red and those of God and Christ white or gold. In Elizabethan England, crude makeup methods included powdering the face with chalk (to play ghosts and murderers) or blackening it with burnt cork (to play Moors). As stage lighting improved in the 19th century, theatrical makeup became more artistic; stick greasepaint, invented by Ludwig Leichner in the 1860s, enabled actors to create more subtle characterizations. Stage makeup proved too heavy for motion pictures; in 1910 Max Factor created semiliquid greasepaint makeup suitable for early filmmaking, and in 1928 he created panchromatic makeup to keep pace with the development of incandescent lighting and more sensitive film. Makeup was later further modified for colour filmmaking and for television. See also cosmetics.


Next Word in the Dictionary: make up
Previous Word in the Dictionary: makeshift
All Words Near: makeup

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up makeup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).