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air·​brush ˈer-ˌbrəsh How to pronounce airbrush (audio)
: an atomizer for applying by compressed air a fine spray (as of paint or liquid color)


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airbrushed; airbrushing; airbrushes

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

Verb That photograph must have been airbrushed.
Recent Examples on the Web
This includes slathering herself in fragrant body washes, creams, and oils daily, switching up her manicure weekly, and using an airbrush tool in her skin-care routine. Annie Blay, Allure, 9 May 2024 How the optical illusion—modeled here by Lulu Tenney—was achieved: On top of bleached brows and sheer pastel pigments, McGrath misted seven or eight coats of a concoction composed of various peel-off masks and water through an airbrush machine. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 16 Apr. 2024 One actor after another sat for May to apply makeup with an airbrush. Robert Trussell, Kansas City Star, 25 Jan. 2024 But before the airbrush magic happened, McGrath and her team walked viewers through the makeup application. Jackie Fields, Peoplemag, 2 Feb. 2024 Using a spoon to protect the eye and lip makeup, the makeup artist loaded the concoction into an airbrush tool to spray on the models’ faces. Essence, 2 Feb. 2024 Celebrity nail artist Queenie Nguyen painted a black half-moon at the base of the nail and a diffused airbrush effect on the tip against a dark neon pink base. Audrey Noble, Vogue, 16 Jan. 2024 Hudson's television set, which is typically chic, was turned into a tribute to hip-hop with the show title displayed in colorful airbrush lettering on a brick wall. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2023 Made in Italy, the handcrafted porcelain plates feature dawn and dusk hues applied with an airbrush technique for an elegant finish. Casey Clark,, 24 Oct. 2023
Some of the noticeable mistakes found in the March 10 photo included Princess Charlotte's hair being oddly cut off, indents and distortions and Princess Kate's hair appearing to be airbrushed. Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 Russia’s Central Election Commission, which routinely bars genuine opposition candidates from running against Putin and airbrushes manipulations, announced the turnout at more than 77 percent. Catherine Belton, Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2024 Errors included: Princess Charlotte's hair being oddly cut off, Prince Louis's finger being seemingly cut off, and Princess Kate's hair appearing airbrushed, among other discrepancies. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 15 Mar. 2024 As seen in her Instagram posts, the Grammy winner rocked a leather trench coat that appeared to be airbrushed with different shades of blue paint. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 Fueled by post-show video footage of models shedding what appeared to be a second skin, some to believe that McGrath had used a peel-off mask diluted with water and airbrushed on in layers. Claire Coleman, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024 Parsons tested it out herself by watering down the cult-favorite face mask from the mid-2000s and airbrushing it onto her skin in layers. Annie Blay, Allure, 30 Jan. 2024 Likewise, framing the contest in existential terms pushes the United States to pursue policies that seek China’s collapse, while airbrushing the danger and self-harm that such a strategy would invite. Ryan Hass, Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023 Twigs donned a snake airbrushed on her body and frosty pink makeup. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 6 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'airbrush.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1884, in the meaning defined above


1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airbrush was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near airbrush

Cite this Entry

“Airbrush.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a device that uses compressed air to apply a liquid (as paint or a protective coating) as a fine spray
airbrush verb

More from Merriam-Webster on airbrush

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