cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈme-tik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Definition of cosmetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion : beautifying cosmetic salves
2 : done or made for the sake of appearance: such as
a : correcting defects especially of the face cosmetic surgery
c : not substantive : superficial cosmetic changes
3 : visually appealing



Definition of cosmetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is cosmetic: such as
a : a cosmetic preparation for external use
b cosmetics plural : superficial features a poem without rhetorical cosmetics— Guy Davenport

Other Words from cosmetic


cosmetically \ käz-​ˈme-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmetic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of cosmetic in a Sentence

Adjective Almond oil is sometimes used in cosmetic products. medical procedures that are done for cosmetic purposes The changes were purely cosmetic. Noun Use a cosmetic to hide the scar.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This woman wasn’t in your hospital for some optional cosmetic procedure. New York Times, 7 June 2022 While every cosmetic procedure has potential risks, there are ways patients can prevent putting themselves in a dangerous situation when getting a Brazilian butt lift. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 7 May 2022 The former boxing champion removed his sunglasses, revealing stitches on his lower eyelids from a recent cosmetic procedure. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Ireland Baldwin is healing in style after undergoing a cosmetic procedure on her chin, all in the hopes of ending a longtime insecurity. Julie Mazziotta,, 11 Apr. 2022 These illnesses vary from merely cosmetic effects that affect a Sim’s mood to being fatal. Kyle Wilson, Wired, 25 Sep. 2021 Heat can also cause other cosmetic effects to your car including fading the dashboard. Mela Seyoum, USA TODAY, 30 June 2021 CeraVe is well-known for creating great cosmetic products for both men and women that build healthy, glowing skin. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 June 2022 Investors are bullish on the cosmetic dermatology space, which includes services like Botox, fillers, and laser hair removal performed outside of a traditional doctor's office setting. Fortune, 8 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Japanese cosmetic company's take on cream blush is this ultra-smooth formula that glides effortlessly onto skin. Theresa Holland,, 6 June 2022 For years, California cosmetic surgeon Mark Berman was a leader of that corner of the healthcare world pushing unproven and unapproved stem cell treatments for a host of medical conditions. Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 These skin concerns can range from the medical—including actinic keratosis (a common skin growth that can lead to cancer), acne, and rosacea—to the cosmetic, namely fine lines and wrinkles. Naomi Barr, SELF, 12 May 2022 Other clients include Maserati, the cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss and Illumination, a film and animation studio. Jessica Iredale, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2022 This Italian brand follows its name ‘My.Organics’ to a T. With the observation that many cosmetic and hair products have chemicals that may actually be more harmful than good, the team at My. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 Its protagonist: a cosmetic dermatologist to the stars, known for his Botox and buttock-enhancement procedures, who tried his luck as a megamansion developer. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, 6 Apr. 2022 Ahead, dermatologists and cosmetic chemists share their tips for the correct skin-care routine order, plus how to effectively incorporate the bells and whistles like face oil and retinol. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, 25 Feb. 2022 Ourself is positioning itself as an alternative to in-office cosmetic procedures, thanks to Otsuki’s patented subtopical technology—which is to say, the products here can target specific layers of the skin. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cosmetic


1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1650, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cosmetic


Greek kosmētikos skilled in adornment, from kosmein to arrange, adorn, from kosmos order

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Time Traveler for cosmetic

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The first known use of cosmetic was in 1638

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cosmetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for cosmetic


cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈmet-ik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of cosmetic

: a material (as a cream, lotion, or powder) used to improve a person's appearance


cos·​met·​ic | \ käz-ˈmet-ik How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of cosmetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a cosmetic preparation for external use



Medical Definition of cosmetic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion cosmetic salves
2 : correcting defects especially of the face cosmetic surgery

Other Words from cosmetic

cosmetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cosmetic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on cosmetic

Nglish: Translation of cosmetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cosmetic for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cosmetic


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