\ˈkōl \

Definition of kohl 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a preparation used especially in Arabia and Egypt to darken the edges of the eyelids


biographical name
\ˈkōl \

Definition of Kohl (Entry 2 of 2)

Helmut 1930–2017     chancellor of West Germany (1982–90) chancellor of Germany (1990–98)

Examples of kohl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For Haddish's eyes, Wynn used a waterproof black kohl eyeliner in the waterline and along the top lashes, which were enhanced with two pairs of Ardell Double Up Wispies false eyelashes. Marci Robin, Allure, "Exclusive: These Are the Exact Makeup Products Tiffany Haddish Wore to the 2018 Emmy Awards," 18 Sep. 2018 Liv Tyler is the spitting image of her Aerosmith frontman father Steven, with a proclivity for kohl-rimmed eyes to boot. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "6 Rock Royalty Daughters Who Inherited Famously Good Looks from Their Dads," 17 June 2018 Liza Minnelli and Grace Jones laid the kohl liner like full-blown Egyptian queens, while Jerry Hall and Debbie Harry draped their pyramid cheekbones in bright pink blush to theatrical effect. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Happy Anniversary, Studio 54! The Iconic Nightclub's 21 Best Beauty Looks," 26 Apr. 2018 Then, draw a kohl liner like the Rimmel Kohl Kajal Waterproof Eye Liner along the waterlines of your upper and lower lids before smudging it out with your ring finger or a cotton swab. Devon Abelman, Allure, "9 Amazing Beauty Moments Looks from EXO-CBX's "Blooming Day" Music Video," 10 Apr. 2018 Her eyes were dark, with a permanent-mascara look that recalled for Janice the kohl eye makeup of ancient Egyptians. Miles Marshall Lewis, The Root, "(What Did I Do to Get So) Black and Blue," 18 Mar. 2018 That powdered mineral was the main component of a cosmetic known as kohl, used as an eyeliner in ancient times. National Geographic, "5,000-Year-Old Cosmetics, Jewelry Show Rise of Ancient Jericho," 19 Dec. 2017 Applying kohl is one of the most celebrated of these customs that will never cease to be used as the original smoky eye. Jihane Hajby, Allure, "7 Moroccan Beauty Secrets You Need to Know," 29 Oct. 2017 There were red lips, dark kohl-rimmed eyes and steal-worthy bronzed copper moments, thanks to traveling pro makeup artist Hung Vanngo. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski Just Won Best Street Style Beauty," 4 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of kohl


1799, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kohl


Arabic kuḥl

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kohl

Dictionary Entries near kohl








Statistics for kohl

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kohl

The first known use of kohl was in 1799

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kohl



English Language Learners Definition of kohl

: a type of makeup that is used to put a black or dark gray line or mark around the eyes

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on kohl

See words that rhyme with kohl

Britannica English: Translation of kohl for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kohl

Comments on kohl

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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