cosmetic

adjective
cos·met·ic | \käz-ˈme-tik \

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

b : decorative, ornamental

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 \ 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

Older brother Josh, 28, says the boat's close to seaworthy again after decades of repairs and cosmetic renovations by his family and three previous owners. Rick Montgomery, kansascity, "Tornado sunk this Kansas cruise boat in 1978, killing 16. Owners hope it floats again.," 22 June 2018 California has long been willing to perform surgery on democracy to correct flaws both cosmetic and life-threatening. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Elections Don’t Work at All. You Can Blame the Math," 6 June 2018 ManLand is emblematic as the distributors of drugs such as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin step up their efforts to sell cosmetic drugs to men. Emma Ockerman, chicagotribune.com, "Wanted: Men unafraid of needles for Botox push," 22 June 2018 The title change, sensitive to the #MeToo movement, is purely cosmetic. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018 The good news here is that the FDA regulates sunscreens like an over-the-counter drug—meaning the safety standards are way higher than those for any cosmetic. Deanna Pai, Harper's BAZAAR, "Glitter Sunscreen Is Sparkly and Fun—But Is It Ruining the Environment?," 26 June 2018 Both the space and menu will look different. '9 years of wear and tear' (Photo: J&G Steakhouse) At J&G, the changes, while primarily cosmetic, will be significant. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The Phoenician is closing two restaurants, including J&G Steakhouse on June 3," 31 May 2018 Doctor Roberto Viel is a qualified plastic surgeon who works in Dubai and London, and has been performing penoplasties, adult circumcisions, and cosmetic work on scrotums for years. David Levesley, GQ, "Did You Know You Could Get Your Scrotum Enlarged?," 24 Jan. 2018 For example, the best-selling Skindinavia Bridal Setting Spray ($29) contains PVP, which is tacky like glue to make foundation really stick, says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist in New Jersey. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "Does Face Mist Actually Do Anything for Your Skin?," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kaylen Kelley, 35, stole $15.27 worth of cosmetics. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Stolen batteries, clothes, cosmetics: 14 arrested in Anchorage Fred Meyer shoplifting sting," 24 June 2018 But now, other stores carry those products such as the Clinique line of cosmetics, Nix said. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Many saddened shoppers at sea with the sinking of Boston Store at Southridge and elsewhere," 20 Apr. 2018 Discover a full line of natural cosmetics that work because of how they're made, not in spite of it. Marie Claire, "What Marie Claire Editors Want to Buy for Spring," 19 Sep. 2017 The paper looked at sexuality, too, finding that male homosexuality was well-predicted by liking the No H8 campaign, Mac cosmetics, and the musical Wicked. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Cambridge Analytica Data Apocalypse Was Predicted in 2007," 25 Mar. 2018 The world’s softest mineral, talc is used in a host of cosmetics, like eyeshadow and blush, as well as body dusting powders. Elizabeth Inglese, Vogue, "Why Johnson & Johnson’s $4.7 Billion Baby Powder Lawsuit Is Important for Women Everywhere," 13 July 2018 The $200 billion in products under consideration for a new 10% duty includes bicycles, sound systems, refrigerators, pocketbooks, vacuum cleaners, cosmetics, tools and seafood. ... Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Senate rebuke of Trump tariffs won't actually change anything," 12 July 2018 Other key segments include men's clothing and accessories, 16 percent of sales; shoes, 16 percent; women's accessories and lingerie, 14 percent; cosmetics, 14 percent; junior and children's clothing, 10 percent, and home furniture, 3 percent. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dilliard's department store chain could enter Milwaukee area by buying Boston Store sites," 11 July 2018 The possible targets also include a long list of cosmetics, perfumes, bath salts and soaps. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "This Time Around, Chinese Consumer Products Would Face Tariffs," 11 July 2018

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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Learn More about cosmetic

Phrases Related to cosmetic

cosmetic surgery

Statistics for cosmetic

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \ adverb

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Comments on cosmetic

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