cos·​met·​i·​cize | \ käz-ˈme-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce cosmeticize (audio) \
cosmeticized; cosmeticizing

Definition of cosmeticize

transitive verb

: to make (something unpleasant or ugly) superficially attractive

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Cosmeticize first appeared in print in the early 19th century as a descendant of the noun cosmetic. Originally, its use was often literal, with the meaning "to apply a cosmetic to," but today it is more frequently used figuratively. Cosmeticize does occasionally draw criticism; usage commentators are sometimes irritated by verbs coined using -ize as they can sound like silly nonce words. Cosmeticize is fairly well established, however, in contrast with the two other rarer verbs that have been derived from cosmetic: cosmetize and the homograph cosmetic, which often turn up in literal senses ("cosmetize the face"; "a face cosmeticked with bright rouge").

First Known Use of cosmeticize

1824, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cosmeticize was in 1824

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cosmetic surgery

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Cite this Entry

“Cosmeticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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