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 The founders are Haitian, Jamaican, Filipino, and Canadian, and represent the city’s multicultural makeup, said Silvera, and the crowds at Prova also reflected that diversity., "In Brockton, birthing a restaurant scene in a Dunks and Bud Light town," 15 Apr. 2021 Del Rio felt the same way when saw comedian Eddie Izzard do stand-up in high heels and women’s makeup. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: Young San Antonio trans spokesman leads with empathy and by example," 15 Apr. 2021 And what's lovely is that this family's makeup is not changing, so there are more conversations to be had. Dan Snierson,, "This Is Us writers break down Randall and Kevin's painful conversation about race," 14 Apr. 2021 Aside from occasional scenes where Mare goes on dates with college professor Richard (Guy Pearce, in a reunion of Winslet’s last HBO project, Mildred Pierce), she’s in cheap, baggy clothes, with minimal makeup. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘Mare of Easttown’: Kate Winslet Takes a Bite Out of Crime," 13 Apr. 2021 The youngest roster in college basketball this past season will have a considerably different makeup in 2021-22. Tom Green |, al, "A closer look at Walker Kessler and Auburn basketball’s retooled roster (so far)," 13 Apr. 2021 Stiletto heels and Technicolor makeup became ubiquitous. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, "No More Mother-Saviors," 13 Apr. 2021 The lack of a white cast could be attributed to the slight peach tint, which blends out to nothing on my pale skin but leaves a pretty, blurred finish, even with no makeup on top. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Versed Guards Up Sunscreen Is the Only SPF I’m Excited to Use," 13 Apr. 2021 The game is a makeup for the Feb. 7 matchup that was postponed by the Wild's COVID-19 outbreak. Star Tribune, "Wild-Arizona game preview," 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Allowing this subsection to stand in for all White voters without a college degree simply won't make up for the problem of the polls not capturing those who don't participate. Harry Enten, CNN, "Why the polls were off in 2020," 13 Apr. 2021 But since Johnson & Johnson doses make up a small fraction of the county’s overall vaccine allocation, officials did not expect anyone to have to cancel vaccination appointments. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco, Contra Costa suspend use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine," 13 Apr. 2021 Basically, these payments generally start at $1,400 for an eligible individual making up to $75,000/year and $2,800 for married couples who file joint tax returns and make up to $150,000/year. Andy Meek, BGR, "Everything you need to know about ‘plus-up’ stimulus check payments," 13 Apr. 2021 People age 65 and over make up 11 percent of Singapore's population, up from 7 percent in 2000. Washington Post, "As Singapore ages, single women pay the price of caring for elderly parents," 12 Apr. 2021 So why wouldn't everyone get the VB25 and make up the $100 difference within two years? Star Tribune, "Sound Advice: Timer tracks wear and tear on turntable stylus," 9 Apr. 2021 The schools enroll 195,000 students throughout the state and make up 29 percent of the state’s charter schools. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Judge certifies class-action lawsuit challenging CA school funding," 8 Apr. 2021 Like the variant first discovered in New York City, the B.1.427/B.1.429 variant has also been seen in high levels in neighboring states, including Arizona, but does not yet make up a significant number of cases outside the region. Lauren Leatherby, New York Times, "As Variants Have Spread, Progress Against the Virus in U.S. Has Stalled," 6 Apr. 2021 Louisiana is unlikely to end up with a second congressional district in which racial minorities make up the majority after redistricting, current and former officials said. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Creating second minority congressional district in Louisiana politically difficult, speakers say," 5 Apr. 2021

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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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