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

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 There are two main ways face masks can damage the skin, according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Nicole Saunders, CNN Underscored, "How to make ‘maskne’ a thing of the past, according to experts," 6 Aug. 2020 And these cosmetic Band-Aids alone are not going to do. Morgan M. Evans, PEOPLE.com, "Elaine Welteroth Details the 'Visible' Impact of Racism in the Fashion and Beauty Industry," 6 Aug. 2020 More than its competitors, Jeep seems to realize that 4wd is not just a cosmetic appliance, no matter how limited its use might be in the life of a vehicle. Michael Jordan, Car and Driver, "1984 Jeep Cherokee Reimagines the 4x4 for a New Age," 4 Aug. 2020 The idea behind a scalp massage is to enhance blood circulation to the hair follicles, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Susan Brickell, Health.com, "The 8 Best Scalp Massagers, According to Customer Reviews," 3 Aug. 2020 Face transplants are more than just cosmetic improvements for patients, Romo said. Bryan Pietsch, BostonGlobe.com, "Connie Culp, first face transplant recipient in US, 57," 2 Aug. 2020 The bronze Tatum sustained minor structural damage and mostly cosmetic damage — scrapes and several locations where the patina rubbed off. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "PGA Championship drama: Sandy Tatum statue reaches Harding Park after scare in Mark Twain’s hometown," 1 Aug. 2020 But recently, intersex activists have argued that a person should have the legal right to consent to cosmetic surgeries performed on one's own body -- an ability infants do not have. Nora Neus, CNN, "Major children's hospital apologizes for performing cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex infants," 29 July 2020 As mentioned, vitamin E is an antioxidant, explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Vitamin E and What It Does for Your Skin," 12 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My mother used to say that the most effective cosmetic is a smile. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Mom hesitates to share more bad news about her sons’ incarcerated father," 8 July 2020 The eatery plans to put the final cosmetic touches on the restaurant in July, and hopes to open in August. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After months of waiting because of the coronavirus, these Wauwatosa businesses are excited to open soon," 29 June 2020 Major retailers, such as Sephora, and department store cosmetic counters have been closed for weeks and are only now beginning to reopen in some places under social distancing rules. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Kissing lipstick goodbye: Are facemasks wiping away the simple joy of cosmetics?," 31 May 2019 Star Wars: Squadrons will offer rich cosmetic and gameplay customization options with rewards and bonuses that are earned solely through gameplay. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Star Wars: Squadrons trailer revealed for EA's new space combat game," 15 June 2020 Stitches, the doctor said, were optional at that point, cosmetic. Andrew Martin, The Atlantic, "Deep Cut," 12 June 2020 Most of the biggest cosmetic conglomerates in the world, like L’Oréal — which owns brands like Maybelline, Urban Decay, Essie, Nyx and more — have gone the other direction. Lexy Lebsack, refinery29.com, "The Makeup Industry’s Darkest Secret Is Hiding In Your Makeup Bag," 31 May 2020 That could kill many firms in a trade with razor-thin margins—with knock-on effects on global sales of cosmetics, perfumes and hair products, worth $500bn a year. The Economist, "Things get hairy The global grooming industry gets cut down to size," 28 May 2020 Right now, Dermstore is offering major deals on some of its best-selling cosmetics, hair and skincare, and more. Kelsey Mulvey, Good Housekeeping, "Dermstore Is Taking up to 50% Off Skincare and Hair Products Right Now," 17 Apr. 2020

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

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cosmetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cosmetic. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for cosmetic

cosmetic

adjective
How to pronounce cosmetic (audio)

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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