cosmetic

adjective
cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈme-tik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Definition of cosmetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion : beautifying cosmetic salves
2 : done or made for the sake of appearance: such as
a : correcting defects especially of the face cosmetic surgery
c : not substantive : superficial cosmetic changes
3 : visually appealing

cosmetic

noun

Definition of cosmetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is cosmetic: such as
a : a cosmetic preparation for external use
b cosmetics plural : superficial features a poem without rhetorical cosmetics— Guy Davenport

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Other Words from cosmetic

Adjective

cosmetically \ käz-​ˈme-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmetic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of cosmetic in a Sentence

Adjective Almond oil is sometimes used in cosmetic products. medical procedures that are done for cosmetic purposes The changes were purely cosmetic. Noun Use a cosmetic to hide the scar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Legislative and regulatory attention and updates over the next few years will determine whether the EPA’s Monday announcement winds up being a turning point or merely cosmetic. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Make Air Conditioners Suck Less," 4 May 2021 As more colors were deemed acceptable for makeup, however, cosmetic companies pounced on the financial opportunity that differentiating products presented. Sara Bosworth, WSJ, "You Only Need One Beauty Product—This Is It," 30 Apr. 2021 And while the move could come with several ecological and cosmetic benefits to the park, some experts are concerned the initiative could open the floodgates for more hunting in national parks down the road. Shanti Lerner, USA TODAY, "Grand Canyon NP seeks 'skilled' hunters to reduce bison population inside the park," 30 Apr. 2021 The city spent a little more than $1 million renovating the field, creating a family-friendly picnic berm, moving the bullpens from the warning tracks to right field, painting and other cosmetic repairs. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "With start of season coming, improvements made at U.S. Steel Yard," 30 Apr. 2021 The Doctors Kitchen confidential with chef LaLa; the instant cheek pop; controlling cosmetic chaos. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Friday, April 30: ‘MacGyver’; ‘The Blacklist’," 29 Apr. 2021 In their new Netflix series, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!, which premiered April 14, Foxx, 52, plays Brian Dixon, a bachelor and cosmetic brand owner, who has just become a full-time dad to his teenage daughter, Sasha (Drew). Christina Dugan, PEOPLE.com, "Meet Jamie Foxx's TV Daughter Kyla-Drew — a Bilingual 17-Year-Old USC Sophomore: Ones to Watch," 28 Apr. 2021 Other common products, including cosmetic powders, candles, dyes, and lubricants include it as well. Chris Morris, Fortune, "How the highest corn prices in over a decade could hit American wallets hard," 27 Apr. 2021 But even for those not pursuing cosmetic adjustments, using face filters and editing apps can have serious health consequences. Anna Haines, Forbes, "From ‘Instagram Face’ To ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’: How Beauty Filters Are Changing The Way We See Ourselves," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This important effort—though admittedly cosmetic—demonstrates an increasing acceptance of critiques of law enforcement that a few years ago would have derailed the reception of this film. Jonathan W. Gray, The New Republic, "Bringing the Black Radical Tradition to the Oscars," 21 Apr. 2021 Each retailer provides hands-on, help-yourself cosmetic experiences, including beauty experts, so shoppers can pamper themselves right there, in real time. Bryan Pearson, Forbes, "These 10 Retailers Are Adding Stores In 2021. Here’s Why," 7 Apr. 2021 High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Does gardening make your fingers sore and cracked? Try shea butter," 5 Apr. 2021 Though the final design hadn't yet been selected at the time, one paramedic wrote that hospital leadership should make actual — rather than cosmetic — fixes to address past harm inflicted on the community. Libor Jany, Star Tribune, "Hennepin EMS overhauls uniforms to distinguish themselves from police, sparking internal backlash," 16 Mar. 2021 Then there are the injuries more cosmetic in nature. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs' Derrick White sinks teeth into defensive role," 28 Mar. 2021 JCPenney will be forced to reinvent its cosmetic and perfume departments. Michael Lisicky, Forbes, "JCPenney Has Become Too Silent After A Tumultuous Year In The Headlines," 18 Mar. 2021 This time, her product endorsement comes direct from her cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Mariana Vergara: an at-home face roller that's only $20. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "The $20 Skin-Care Device Eva Mendes Swears By," 11 Feb. 2021 For that friend who is the expert of anything cosmetic, impress her with Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzer. Angela Lei, Forbes, "Women’s Day Gift Ideas: Best Presents For Fashion And Beauty Lovers," 3 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmetic.' 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 cosmetic

Adjective

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1650, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cosmetic

Adjective

Greek kosmētikos skilled in adornment, from kosmein to arrange, adorn, from kosmos order

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Time Traveler for cosmetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of cosmetic was in 1638

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Statistics for cosmetic

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cosmetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cosmetic. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cosmetic

cosmetic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cosmetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used or done in order to improve a person's appearance
: done in order to make something look better
: not important or meaningful

cosmetic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cosmetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (such as a cream, lotion, or powder) that you put on your face or body to improve your appearance

cosmetic

noun
cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈmet-ik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of cosmetic

: a material (as a cream, lotion, or powder) used to improve a person's appearance

cosmetic

noun
cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈmet-ik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of cosmetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a cosmetic preparation for external use

cosmetic

adjective

Medical Definition of cosmetic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion cosmetic salves
2 : correcting defects especially of the face cosmetic surgery

Other Words from cosmetic

cosmetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on cosmetic

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