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

The latest tweak to Disney California Adventure, the sister theme park across the plaza from the original Disneyland, is largely cosmetic. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disneyland's new Pixar Pier: Is it Incredible?," 10 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She is estimated to be worth $900 million while owning 100 percent of her cosmetics company. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Kylie Jenner Shares Sweet Kisses with Stormi Revealing Her 5-Month-Old Daughter's Pierced Ears," 12 July 2018 Jenner’s fortune includes not only her cosmetics company — which has very few employees or marketing expenses — but also brand endorsements. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Kylie Jenner Is Richer Than Kim Kardashian West Thanks to Kylie Cosmetics," 11 July 2018 In one of the boldest advertising efforts in recent memory, British cosmetics company Lush has launched a campaign accusing U.K. police of unethical practices in undercover investigations. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Lush Has a Surprising History of Getting Political. But Its Latest Ad Campaign About Police Corruption Is Just Wild," 3 June 2018 Sephora is one of a growing number of beauty and cosmetics companies that are targeting consumers across the gender spectrum. NBC News, "Sephora to offer free makeup classes for transgender community," 24 May 2018 Most talc isn't actually used for cosmetics; it's found more often in household products: the ceramics in your bathroom fixtures, the roof over your head, the paint on your wall. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Does talcum powder cause cancer? A legal and scientific battle rages," 11 Apr. 2018 And a year after that, the drag star RuPaul would be selling lipstick for M.A.C. cosmetics. Penelope Green, New York Times, "K.D. Lang Doesn’t Have to Indulge Your Constant Cravings," 22 Mar. 2018 This week's deals focus on discount offers for cosmetics. Womansday.com Staff, Woman's Day, "5 Best Online Deals: Cosmetics," 4 Feb. 2010 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

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

11 Nov 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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