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

Differences between the two may be the result of differences in survey methods, rather than real changes in opinions or makeup of the electorate over time. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "AP VoteCast: Trump a dominant force on voters’ minds," 7 Nov. 2018 But the latest cyber attacks on Carrie Underwood for literally wearing makeup to a soccer game has to be one of the more facepalm-inducing moments as of late. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood Is Getting Trolled for Wearing Makeup to Her Son's Soccer Game," 23 Oct. 2018 An animated bunch, a bit tipsy from their tasting line up outside the truck, unaware that spare wigs and makeup are the secret ingredients on the top shelf of the tiny kitchen. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 'Texas Chili Queens' Behind the World's First and Only Drag Queen Food Truck," 1 Oct. 2018 Giving yourself the right canvas to work with is the easiest way to make makeup look good. As Told To Lauren Balsamo, Redbook, "'This Is Us' Star Mandy Moore Shares Her Secret to Looking and Feeling Her Best," 21 Sep. 2018 However, Newman says a child's desire to wear makeup usually depends on the habits of their mother and peers. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "QUIZ: Where Do You Stand on These Back-to-School Parenting Questions?," 23 Aug. 2018 In France, immigrants from the Middle East and Africa have settled throughout Paris and have drawn the ire of the far-right and even some moderates over the city's changing makeup. Jesse J. Holland And Russell Contreras,, "Trump draws fierce criticism for saying immigration is 'changing the culture' of Europe for worse," 14 July 2018 Auctions and raffles are held at the convention to help attendees add to their collection and receive services including makeup retouching and hair replacement for their dolls. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Valley of the dolls: Barbie collectors hit Phoenix resort scene for 2018 convention," 13 July 2018 Important dates Tonight: Nick Pivetta gets the start in a makeup game in Baltimore, 6:05 p.m. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies' Maikel Franco making a play to stay | Extra Innings," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Currently, women make up less than 3 percent of the construction workforce, which includes the building trades—hands-on jobs like carpentry, bricklaying, and electrical work—as well as management. Amanda Abrams, Curbed, "Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage," 5 Nov. 2018 Female soldiers are more likely than men to experience isolation, as women make up only 16 percent of the armed forces. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 Christians made up 63 percent of all refugee admissions in 2018, compared with 40 percent in 2017. Fox News, "Trump refugee policy leaves thousands stranded outside US," 7 Oct. 2018 Today, that number is closer to 24 percent—still a major underrepresentation considering that women make up 47 percent of the total workforce and over half of Americans working with a college degree. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Three Women in Science Who Broke the Glass Ceiling," 5 Oct. 2018 SUVs and light trucks now make up over 60 percent of the cars bought by Americans each year. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Fewer people died in car crashes in 2017, but the outlook is still grim," 3 Oct. 2018 Those efforts led to a 2 percent increase in watch sales in the first half of 2018, a remarkable feat considering new models made up less than 10 percent of those sales, and watches costing $25,000 or more accounted for 16 percent. Cara Barrett, Town & Country, "The Newest Trend in Serious Watch Collecting? Women," 21 Sep. 2018 Normal matter is by far the least abundant of the three, making up less than 5 percent of the universe's mass-energy budget. Mike Wall,, "Observations of the Early Universe Reaffirm the Existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy," 18 July 2018 Women are affected more by acne, making up 80 percent of all adult cases. Nazanin Saedi,, "The real reasons we get adult acne and how to treat it," 11 July 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

14 Nov 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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