Definition of cosmeticize
: 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
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