ceruse

noun

1
: white lead as a pigment
2
: a cosmetic containing white lead

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Male members of the court of Louis XIV in France painted on beauty marks, while Elizabethan Englishmen powdered their faces with ceruse, a toxic mixture of vinegar and white lead. New York Times, 10 May 2021 The oak floors were given a ceruse treatment (essentially a lime wash that brings out the wood’s grain). Janice O'leary, Robb Report, 22 Apr. 2021 Even once these side effects were well known, ceruse remained popular for centuries. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, 12 Apr. 2019 Which, of course, requires more ceruse to cover up these new imperfections. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, 12 Apr. 2019 For thousands of years ceruse was liberally applied to eyes, mouths, and skin. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, 12 Apr. 2019 Since most of us don't have flawless porcelain complexions, the Elizabethans — at least those who could afford it — used a product called ceruse, which was a blend of vinegar and, wait for it, white lead. Donna Freydkin, Allure, 21 Aug. 2017 This mixture of lead and vinegar that Elizabeth used was known as Venetian ceruse, or the spirits of Saturn. National Geographic, 22 Sep. 2016 See More

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

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Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Middle French céruse, from Latin cerussa

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceruse was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ceruse

Cite this Entry

“Ceruse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceruse. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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Medical Definition

ceruse

noun

1
: white lead as a pigment
2
: a cosmetic containing white lead
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