air·​brush | \ ˈer-ˌbrəsh How to pronounce airbrush (audio) \

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

One of the most common sunless tanning treatments is spray tanning, when a tanning formula is sprayed on a client either by a machine or by a technician via airbrush. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Here's How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Even Longer," 17 July 2019 Heidi Landesman’s sets are a feast of delights, from the clever act curtain — Beirstadt with an airbrush — to the lazy river cyclorama which bleeds into a set of stairs for Huck’s final exit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 35 years ago ‘Big River’ started flowing in La Jolla," 25 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Court records and interviews with police departments across the country show this was not an isolated episode of officers airbrushing aside a discrepancy. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs,, "Police Photoshopped his mug shot for a lineup. He’s not the only one.," 24 Aug. 2019 The upscale bohemian aesthetic was a nod to the spirit of the Woodstock music festival, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, and included a jean jacket airbrushed with images of Jimi Hendrix. Roxanne Robinson, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside the Red Carpet-Ready Dior Spring Men's Show," 22 June 2019 Jameela Jamil is known for not taking any BS and calling other celebrities out for airbrushing their photos. Christina Oehler,, "Jameela Jamil Just Zoomed In on Her 'Back Fat' to Make a Big Point About Photoshopping," 12 Aug. 2019 What these unknown poster artists did in the Golden Age of Hollywood in the ‘30s and ‘40s were astounding because they were made with stone lithography, watercolors, oils and airbrushing. Phillip Valys,, "Reel art: Giant movie poster exhibit opening in West Palm Beach," 9 July 2019 The most talked-about teen influencer in the world doesn't airbrush her photos. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Emma Chamberlain and the Rise of the Relatable YouTuber," 3 July 2019 Last week, Business Insider reported that people were questioning whether the front-facing camera automatically airbrushes people’s selfies (#Beautygate). Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "iPhone XS and XS Max Users Report Issues With Device Charging," 2 Oct. 2018 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

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

17 Sep 2019

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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

Comments on airbrush

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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