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

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 Bourgeault, who painted Vathje's helmet, said the project took him about 80 hours — two weeks or work, uninterrupted, using airbrushes and stencils and a layer of sheen used for automobiles. Chico Harlan,, "An Olympics skeleton helmet, where Game of Thrones meets Dracula," 16 Feb. 2018 Bourgeault, who painted Vathje's helmet, said the project took him about 80 hours – two weeks or work, uninterrupted, using airbrushes and stencils and a layer of sheen used for automobiles. Author: Chico Harlan, Anchorage Daily News, "An Olympics skeleton helmet, where ‘Game of Thrones’ meets Dracula," 16 Feb. 2018 Additional colors and designs are applied using an airbrush. Gonzalo Solano, Houston Chronicle, "Preserved roses bring Valentine's Day sales jolt to Ecuador," 13 Feb. 2018 So, unlike many oxygen facials, which mainly just blow oxygen at your face with an airbrush gun, this treatment uses your body’s own oxygen to make skin magic. Leah Wyar, Cosmopolitan, "This Shocking Facial Will Turn You Into a "Game of Thrones" Character," 25 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 One man, with his hand over his crotch, was airbrushed out in some reproductions. Washington Post,, "Ninalee Allen Craig, subject of iconic ‘American Girl in Italy’ photos, dies at 90," 5 May 2018 Kourtney Kardashian, for example, said that a tabloid airbrushed her postbaby body. Hallie Levine, Redbook, "Would You Get A "Mommy Tuck" ?," 14 Mar. 2011 Levi's guests were able to get their denim cutoffs, trucker jackets and 501s tailored to fit and customized with monograms, screenprinting and airbrushing gratis. Adam Tschorn,, "Riding Coachella's coattails: Dior, Moschino, Fenty X Puma and Levi Strauss decamp to the desert to build buzz," 18 Apr. 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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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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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