body paint


: paint applied to a person's body
Her new outfit, a leopard-skin pants suit, seemed as skintight as Superman's blue-and-red ensemble: every midriff curve curved, every leg muscle flexed … . After a few turns, some observers noticed that the spots were not painted on fabric but skin. Her suit was body paint.Matthew Crowley, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 19 Mar. 1997
Aborigines in white body paint danced and sang traditional songs in Australia's national Parliament on Tuesday in a historic ceremony many hoped would mark a new era of race relations in the country.Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, 12 Feb. 2008
body-paint transitive verb
body-painted; body-painting; body-paints
Halfway through the first quarter, high up in the stands, an undergraduate skinned off his shirt and … a young woman body-painted something unprintable about Harvard onto his shoulder blades. Paul Hendrickson, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 1983
body-painted adjective
… surrounded by their usual assortment of exuberant, body-painted fans. Bill Bryant, Huntsville (Alabama) Times, 3 Mar. 2012
body painting noun
or less commonly body-painting
They wore clothing of finely-tanned skins and adorned themselves with tattooing and body painting. Barbara A. Leitch, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Tribes, 1979

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of body paint was in 1883

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Dictionary Entries Near body paint

Cite this Entry

“Body paint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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