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 cosmetically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmetic

Synonyms: Adjective

adorning, beautifying, decorative, embellishing, ornamental

Antonyms: Adjective

functional, utilitarian

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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

Four years and a billion dollars later, Kylie Cosmetics is an empire in its own right, and has branched out into nearly every color cosmetic category. Glamour, "We Tried Everything From Kylie Skin—Here Are Our First Impressions," 22 May 2019 And, arguably the most important element, sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer as well as cosmetic sun damage. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Your Skin-Care Routine Actually Only Needs These 3 Things," 21 May 2019 Over the past year, Kylie has continued to expand her cosmetic empire. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Has Reportedly Filed Trademarks for a Line of Hair Products," 16 May 2019 Many of the cosmetic-tattoo artists working today have less training than professional bartenders do. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, "What Is Cosmetic Tattooing? Read This Before You Get One," 29 Mar. 2019 Minutes later, the fish was knocked out and getting an eyelift, a procedure that has become standard practice in Mr. Ng’s job as one of the premier cosmetic surgeons for Asian arowana fish here in Singapore. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish? In Asia, This One Is King of the Tank," 27 Mar. 2018 Everything that happens is either shallow and cosmetic, or a huge, overplayed story beat that gets blown out of proportion. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s fresh start looks like a big step back," 12 Nov. 2018 But according to cosmetic chemist Stephen Alain Ko, powdered sunscreen is far from a new development. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "What Is Powdered Sunscreen? Your Guide to the Trendy New Sun-Care Product," 8 Apr. 2019 The anti-wrinkle treatment, approved for cosmetic use in 2002, helped create an $8 billion-plus global market for beauty-enhancing drugs. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Botox Rivals Create New Wrinkles for Allergan," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chinese tourists are more likely to buy high-end consumer goods like jewelry, cosmetics, apparel and electronics. Sarah Min, CBS News, "China travel warning spells trouble for U.S. luxury retailers," 4 June 2019 Right now the cosmetics industry isn't required to test ingredients like talc, commonly found in face powders, for safety. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "So, About the FDA Finding Asbestos in Claire's Makeup: Here's What the Government Is Doing About It," 12 Mar. 2019 Photo: Joyce Roché Joyce Roché took on one unfamiliar role after another during her career as a cosmetics industry executive, rising from an assistant planner at Avon Products to global vice president. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Companies Hire on Potential—If Only They Knew What That Meant," 12 Mar. 2019 While the cruelty-free movement has been picking up steam over the last few years, this marks a huge step forward for the cosmetics industry: Beauty behemoth CoverGirl is now entirely cruelty-free. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "CoverGirl Just Announced It's Now Entirely Cruelty-Free," 5 Nov. 2018 British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, known for her fan-favorite foundation and sleeping in her makeup, received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the beauty and cosmetics industry. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury Honored by the Queen," 11 June 2018 The cosmetics industry is already infusing products with shinorine as a key active ingredient. Yousong Ding, Washington Post, "Hawaii is set to ban sunscreens that damage coral. Greener, safer options are on the horizon.," 9 May 2018 There are dozens of historical examples of men lording it over women by cracking down on beauty treatments, starting with the Spartans, who banned women’s use of all cosmetics. Joan Kron, Town & Country, "The President's Facelift Tweet Wasn't Just Nasty—It Was Also Factually Inaccurate," 30 June 2017 In other words, lead seemed like an ideal substance for cosmetics. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for cosmetic

Last Updated

27 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cosmetic

The first known use of cosmetic was in 1638

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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 cosmetically (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on cosmetic

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