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

Did You Know?

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 often 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, which often turns up in the literal sense ("cosmetize the face"), and cosmetic, which can be literal or figurative ("cosmeticked with bright rouge"; "embellished and cosmeticked").

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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Cite this Entry

“Cosmeticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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