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 My makeup went unused for the first few months of quarantine since throwing on a lip had been a key part of my getting-ready routine. Talia Gutierrez, Glamour, "9 Beauty ‘Rules’ I’m Breaking In 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 Such a dog comes in a variety of colors, depending on its genetic makeup. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: The Lion Dogs," 30 Dec. 2020 Every fibre in his mental makeup radiated, concentrated, toward this center. Mary Ann Ashcraft,, "Carroll Yesteryears: Glimpse at early life of sculptor William Henry Rinehart," 26 Dec. 2020 Finally, in 1967, Ms. Roberts persuaded the Bamberger’s department store in Newark, N.J., to display her makeup. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Flori Roberts Created a Cosmetics Line for Dark Skin," 22 Dec. 2020 As a result, the team was able to determine that this particular lemur is a separate species based on its distinct genetic makeup and some outward characteristics such as coloration and ear size. Cat Kutz, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Conservation Stories Prove 2020 Was Not All Bad News," 14 Dec. 2020 Cyber Monday sale, with deals on everything from makeup to hair tools to skin care. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "The best fashion and beauty deals to shop this Cyber Monday," 30 Nov. 2020 The trendy supplement is legal in the United States, sold everywhere from gas stations to upscale markets and found in everything from makeup to beer. oregonlive, "Oregon’s hemp boom bets big on CBD," 24 Oct. 2020 Start with our roundup of the GH Beauty Lab's best drugstore beauty products of all time across categories, from makeup must-haves like concealer and foundation to face and body skincare, new favorites of 2020, and more. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Drugstore Beauty Products of All Time, According to Experts," 23 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Latinos make up 15% of the city’s population, but at least 30% of Muni ridership, the SFMTA’s Local Government Affairs Manager Joél Ramos told supervisors. Mallory Moench,, "S.F. small business owner and accessibility advocate to help oversee Muni," 5 Jan. 2021 Long-term care residents make up less than 1% of the country's population but account for 38% of COVID-19 deaths as of Dec. 31, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: Oregon to administer 12K vaccine doses daily by Jan. 15; Mexico approves AstraZeneca vaccine; 353K US deaths," 5 Jan. 2021 Vacation homes make up nearly half of its total rooms, up from roughly a quarter in 2019, according to the Journal’s calculations. Newley Purnell, WSJ, "Oyo Hotel Chain Suffered Ailments Beyond Pandemic’s Travel Slowdown," 1 Jan. 2021 According to the 2011 government census, Muslims make up 34.22% of Assam's total population. Rhea Mogul And Swati Gupta, CNN, "Indian state bans government-run Islamic schools from teaching religious scripture," 31 Dec. 2020 According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit organization that advocates for stricter gun laws, Black Americans make up 68% of homicide victims in larger cities, many of them victims of gun violence. Josiah Bates, Time, "2020 Will End as One of America's Most Violent Years in Decades," 30 Dec. 2020 Most Americans exceed even the 10% bench mark; sugars make up 13% of daily calories, on average. Roni Caryn Rabin,, "US diet guidelines sidestep scientific advice to cut sugar and alcohol," 30 Dec. 2020 Across the country, Americans older than 65 make up more than 80% of COVID-19 deaths, despite being only about 16% of the total population. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Hundreds of Alaskans weigh in on who should be included in next phase of COVID-19 vaccination," 29 Dec. 2020 Hispanics make up more than 20% of cases despite being just 10% of the population. Phillip Jackson,, "Maryland reports 1,758 new coronavirus cases, 31 deaths following Christmas holiday weekend," 27 Dec. 2020

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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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