make·up | \ ˈmāk-ˌəp \

Definition of makeup 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the way in which the parts or ingredients of something are put together : composition the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood

b : physical, mental, and moral constitution His daring attitude toward risks is a major part of his makeup.

2a : the operation of making up especially pages for printing

b : design or layout of printed matter

3a(1) : cosmetics (such as lipstick, mascara, and eye shadow) used to color and beautify the face

(2) : a cosmetic applied to other parts of the body leg makeup for a tanned appearance

b : materials (such as wigs and cosmetics) used in making up or in special costuming (as for a play)

4 : replacement specifically : material added (as in a manufacturing process) to replace material that has been used up makeup water

5 : something that makes up for a previous postponement, omission, failure, or deficiency a makeup exam

make up


Definition of make up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to form by fitting together or assembling make up a train of cars

b : to arrange typeset matter in (columns or pages) for printing

2a : to combine to produce (a sum or whole)

b : constitute, compose 10 chapters make up this volume

3a : to compensate for (something, such as a deficiency or omission) make up the difference in lost pay

b : to do or take in order to correct an omission make up a history exam

4 : settle, decide made up my mind to depart

5 : to wrap or fasten up make the books up into a parcel

6a : to prepare in physical appearance for a role

b : to apply cosmetics to

7a : invent, improvise make up a story

b : to set in order rooms are made up daily

intransitive verb

1 : to become reconciled quarreled but later made up

2a : to act ingratiatingly and flatteringly made up to his aunt for a new bicycle

b : to make advances : court

3 : compensate make up for lost time

4a : to put on costumes or makeup (as for a play)

b : to apply cosmetics

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Examples of makeup in a Sentence


His daring attitude toward risks is a major part of his makeup. She put on some makeup before the party. She applied her makeup lightly. She's too young to wear makeup. put on makeup for a play I didn't recognize him when he was in his theatrical makeup.


the book is made up of 20 chapters she keeps making up excuses as to why she hasn't yet finished the project
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His Instagram account contains multiple photos of him wearing makeup. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Man who wore clown makeup with bladed gloves found guilty in deadly Colorado stabbing," 28 June 2018 People don't realize that both men and women have to wear makeup on the air. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Fox 4's new weekend anchor talks coffee, fires, skydiving — and dentistry," 22 June 2018 Cosmetics were not acceptable before this time period; only actresses and prostitutes wore makeup. Time, "Why the End of Miss America's Swimsuit Competition Is a Big Deal, According to Pageant History Experts," 7 June 2018 The topics covered by the projects ranged from forensic accounting to special effects makeup to sports injuries to animal behavior. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Griswold Middle School Students Show Off Research At Expo," 6 June 2018 Current models for predicting the chemical makeup of smoke, which rely largely on satellite observations, have a huge margin for error, Warneke says. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Scientists race to reveal how surging wildfire smoke is affecting climate and health," 31 May 2018 The city's neighborhood makeup has historically been described as five quadrants, though quadrants are defined as four parts of a whole. Andrew Theen,, "Plan to shift thousands of addresses to 'South Portland' heads to City Council," 30 May 2018 Depending on your library’s makeup, downloading a deluge of games could put a hurting on your bandwidth cap. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Steam's Spring Cleaning event encourages PC gamers to clear out their backlog," 24 May 2018 Howard schools were closed for five days this academic year, prompting the school board to extend the calendar by two days through June 19 after the state school board denied the county’s request to waive the makeup days. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Howard updates school calendar to preserve 2019 spring break," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Kennedy, in leaving the impression with Trump that Kavanaugh would be a great candidate for the job, helped the president make up his mind. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Did Anthony Kennedy make a deal with Trump?," 10 July 2018 The three events make up $53,000 of the budget line, Lenckos said, adding overall income for this year is running ahead of projections, and the budget includes a 15 percent contingency, as recommended by the State Board of Accounts. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Porter County parks department eyes '19 budget, funding improvements," 6 July 2018 Separate figures show that women now make up a bigger proportion of the BBC’s leadership team than ever before, with 43.3 percent of positions held by women, up from 42.1 percent last year. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "BBC Gender Pay Gap Narrows," 4 July 2018 And a report from the Education Trust shows that black students make up less than six percent of students enrolled at public flagship universities. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Era of Affirmative Action May Not Last Much Longer," 3 July 2018 All told, fishing gear makes up about 10 percent of the plastic trash in the oceans, but accounts for an outsized proportion of fatalities to marine wildlife. National Geographic, "These Communities Turn Discarded Fishing Nets Into Carpets," 13 June 2018 Trident officials said the shooting range will only make up a third of their business and will be geared toward pistols rather than rifles. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "East Dundee to get another gun range," 13 July 2018 The league is made up of nine teams with a minimum of eight players per team and generally attracts more than 100 men who compete each week. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Men relive their youth through JCC summer softball league," 3 July 2018 The new members would push the Academy’s overall female membership to 31 percent from 28 percent last year, while people of color will make up 16 percent, up from 13 percent last year. Piya Sinha-roy,, "Emilia Clarke, Timothée Chalamet, Tiffany Haddish among record 928 Academy invitees," 25 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of makeup


1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for makeup

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for makeup

The first known use of makeup was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for makeup



English Language Learners Definition of makeup

: the way in which something is put together or arranged

: the physical, mental, and moral character of a person

: substances (such as lipstick or powder) used to make someone's face look more attractive


make·up | \ ˈmāk-ˌəp \

Kids Definition of makeup

1 : any of various cosmetics (as lipstick or powder)

2 : the way the parts or elements of something are put together or joined

3 : materials used in changing a performer's appearance (as for a play or other entertainment)

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Comments on makeup

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an open space surrounded by woods

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