cosmeticize

verb cos·met·i·cize \ käz-ˈme-tə-ˌsīz \

Definition of cosmeticize

cosmeticized; cosmeticizing
transitive verb
:to make (something unpleasant or ugly) superficially attractive

cosmeticize was our Word of the Day on 01/10/2010. Hear the podcast!

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


Learn More about cosmeticize


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cosmeticize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!