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

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 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").

Word History

First Known Use

1824, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cosmeticize was in 1824


Dictionary Entries Near cosmeticize

Cite this Entry

“Cosmeticize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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