air·​brush | \ ˈer-ˌbrəsh \

Definition of airbrush

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an atomizer for applying by compressed air a fine spray (as of paint or liquid color)


airbrushed; airbrushing; airbrushes

Definition of airbrush (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to paint, treat, or alter (as to conceal imperfections) with or as if with an airbrush airbrush a photograph

Examples of airbrush in a Sentence


That photograph must have been airbrushed.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Londoner, well-known for her technical superpowers and experimental approach, turned to the airbrush and a rainbow of MAC pigments. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Eckhaus Latta Brings Back the Airbrush With Painterly Color-Clash Makeup," 9 Feb. 2019 The entire ensemble is definitely the perfect statement outfit for a summer festival: The shorts and tank are a classic go-to look, and the addition of the boots and the airbrush design adds a fun, cheeky throwback vibe. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Halsey Wears Air-Brushed Thigh High Boots for Billboard Hot 100 Festival," 19 Aug. 2018 Its velvety airbrush effect will make any lingering morning-after regrets disappear—really. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "7 Skincare Cures for Erasing All Signs of a Holiday Hangover," 26 Nov. 2018 There are nagging questions, such as how many trips to the tanning bed (running in and out at lunchtime, say) or whether to go for airbrush tanning or spraying. Alison Rose, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 16 Dec. 2012 Benefit's blurring face primer for airbrushed skin This stuff is like a real-time airbrush for your face. Jessica Teich, USA TODAY, "Ulta is having an amazing sale on all the expensive makeup you love," 21 Mar. 2018 In part, the whimsy was a result of Mr. Grossman’s favored tool, the airbrush, which allowed him to effectively sculpt three-dimensional figures out of paint or ink. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Robert Grossman, illustrator who caricatured presidents and designed ‘Airplane!’ poster, dies at 78," 20 Mar. 2018 Easterbrook, the author of several books, often airbrushes or smooths over history; temporary reversals are missed or their consequences minimized. Angus Deaton, New York Times, "Getting Better All the Time?," 2 Mar. 2018 Still so pumped about this helmet can’t thank @katefegley1 and the guys @offaxispaint for doing such an amazing job @mcewenart does sick airbrush work with crazy detail!! Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s grandson found the perfect way to honor the late NASCAR driver," 16 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There's no shame in sometimes using Facetune or other airbrushing apps to enhance your selfies, but what if that was all your selfies, all the time? Emily Wang, Allure, "Apple Users Accuse New iPhones of Automatically Airbrushing Selfies," 28 Sep. 2018 The vast costume rental wardrobe, one of the largest collections of vintage clothing in the country, has a three-unit-wide stucco facade airbrushed with murals of ghosts and mythical creatures. New York Times, "Rare Photographs From Inside a Hollywood Costume Archive," 6 June 2018 John Campanella does all kinds of custom paint jobs in his spare time, airbrushing designs on cars, semis, motorcycles, and guitars. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New Mars rover gets high-tech paint job for harsh conditions on Mars," 11 Oct. 2018 Now more than ever, fashion brands continue to embrace the body positivity movement by foregoing Photoshop and airbrushing typically used on models. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Boohoo Didn't Photoshop a Model's Stretch Marks and Customers Are Loving It," 27 June 2018 Stalin airbrushed his enemies out of history by having them removed from official photographs. The Economist, "A faked video of Donald Trump points to a worrying future," 24 May 2018 Vendors of skateboard decks airbrushed with the greats of African American history set up next to political organizers calling out for registered voters. BBQ’n While Black was barely getting started. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Barbecuers take back Oakland’s communal backyard at Lake Merritt," 20 May 2018 Next to a bushel of labias, which resemble dark-pink wood-ear mushrooms, sits a bundle of penises waiting to have veins airbrushed. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Are We Ready for Robot Sex?," 13 May 2018 At least in Boston’s case, that’s really airbrushing the reality. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Great, Fantastic, Another Boston Sports Team Is Doing Well," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airbrush.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of airbrush


1884, in the meaning defined above


1907, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for airbrush

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for airbrush

The first known use of airbrush was in 1884

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More Definitions for airbrush



English Language Learners Definition of airbrush

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that is used to spray a liquid (such as paint) onto a surface



English Language Learners Definition of airbrush (Entry 2 of 2)

: to paint or treat (something, such as a photograph) with an airbrush especially to make improvements

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More from Merriam-Webster on airbrush

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with airbrush

Nglish: Translation of airbrush for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of airbrush for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about airbrush

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