ceruse

noun
ce·​ruse | \ sə-ˈrüs How to pronounce ceruse (audio) , ˈsir-ˌüs How to pronounce ceruse (audio) \

Definition of ceruse

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

Examples of ceruse in a Sentence

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

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.

See More

First Known Use of ceruse

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ceruse

Middle English, from Middle French céruse, from Latin cerussa

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ceruse

Time Traveler for ceruse

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ceruse

Cite this Entry

“Ceruse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceruse. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ceruse

ceruse

noun
ce·​ruse | \ sə-ˈrüs How to pronounce ceruse (audio) , ˈsi(ə)r-ˌüs How to pronounce ceruse (audio) \

Medical Definition of ceruse

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!