make·​up | \ ˈmāk-ˌəp How to pronounce makeup (audio) \

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

made up; making up; makes 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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Synonyms for makeup

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of makeup in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 Among the finely polished production contributions, special praise to key makeup artist Ve Neill for Williams' redoubtable transformation. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mrs. Doubtfire': THR's 1993 Review," 24 Nov. 2019 The rebates from Amazon and other major stores (such as Target and Walmart) are typically limited to certain departments, and the rebates may vary (e.g., 5 percent on clothing, 1 percent on makeup). NBC News, "Cash back portals: What you need to know about getting paid to shop," 20 Nov. 2019 Teen girls spent 21% less on makeup this year than a year earlier but are more likely to spend on skincare. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Companies With a Female Founder Are Exiting More Quickly Than Male-Founded Startups," 12 Nov. 2019 This is the case for other companies offering AR headsets, too, as the technology has only really appealed to consumers thus far in smartphone apps for things like gaming and trying on makeup. Rachel Metz, CNN, "The new HoloLens is better, but here's why you're still not going to buy it," 7 Nov. 2019 Apply this cream — packed with broad-spectrum SPF 30 — every morning before putting on makeup. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Mary Kay Timewise Age Minimize 3D Day Cream SPF 30," 1 Oct. 2019 Though none of the tellers reported seeing facial or neck tattoos on the robber who confronted them, an informant suggested to investigators that Allen may have been wearing makeup, the judge wrote. oregonlive, "Judge allows eyewitness IDs based on altered photo with bank robbery suspect’s facial tattoos removed," 26 Sep. 2019 The photograph shows a 29-year-old Trudeau wearing a turban and robe with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck. Dylan Bouscher, The Mercury News, "Political Cartoons: Justin Trudeau’s colorful faces and past surface," 24 Sep. 2019 To me, putting on makeup is like putting on my game face. John Meyer, The Denver Post, "Former U.S. skiing great Lindsey Vonn to start cosmetics company," 17 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the poll, 64 percent of Sanders voters said their minds are firmly made up to support him., "While support for Sanders and Warren was essentially unchanged from the last Suffolk/Globe poll in August, Biden lost 9 percentage points, while Buttigieg gained 7 points.," 26 Nov. 2019 The top fifth earning households make up about 90% of individual and mutual fund equity investments, Moody’s says. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Higher-income consumers pull back on spending, posing a risk to the economy," 26 Nov. 2019 The spacecraft also found that the sooty material currently makes up about 1% of Saturn’s icy rings. Quanta Magazine, "Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?," 26 Nov. 2019 Second-degree criminal trespass accounted for the second most frequent offense, at 6.2% of all bookings, and parole violations made up the third most frequent offense, or 6.2% of all bookings. oregonlive, "Blacks continue to be overrepresented in nearly every step of Multnomah County’s criminal justice system, report finds," 25 Nov. 2019 Woods said, adding the charter questions made up a small part of the entire survey designed to inform the district’s marketing. Krista Torralva,, "Northside ISD marketing effort includes pointed questions about charters," 23 Nov. 2019 Though Milwaukee was collectively sloppy at times with 21 turnovers, the Bucks made up for it with possessions featuring crisp ball movement and solid defense throughout the night. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 104, Pistons 90: In a ho-hum game, a few performances stand out," 23 Nov. 2019 This is quite a flaw in advanced economies like the U.S.’s, in which services make up roughly 80% of economic activity. David Pilling, Time, "It's Time to Redefine GDP to Help Save the Planet," 21 Nov. 2019 Most notably, Indian cities made up 12 of the 15 most polluted cities (paywall) in the world in 2019. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai are some of the least inclusive global cities," 21 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for makeup

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for makeup

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for makeup


How to pronounce make up (audio)

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 How to pronounce makeup (audio) \

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

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


very cautious or careful

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