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 Still, the efficacy of bond-building products comes down to each product's ingredient makeup, so bond builders just need to be chosen carefully from user to user. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Everything You Need to Know About Bond Repair Products for Your Hair," 3 Apr. 2021 Jessica applies makeup at Blossoms, a women-only support group for the unhoused, that was formed after a domestic violence attack. Paul Moakley, Time, "Deaths Among America's Homeless Are Soaring in the Pandemic. A Photographer Captures A Community In Crisis," 3 Apr. 2021 Powder foundation makeup is often formulated with minerals and other ingredients that benefit your skin. Laura Duerr,, "The best powder foundation makeup," 3 Apr. 2021 Three-pan makeup palettes are 30% off at the site right now for a limited time. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Easter 2021: All the best sales to shop for Easter weekend," 3 Apr. 2021 Then came the equally viral videos that followed, wherein a sea of TikTokers put Beer’s makeup routine to the test. Rachel Besser, Vogue, "TikTok Made Me Buy It: Charlotte Tilbury’s Viral Cream Blush," 2 Apr. 2021 Charles previously became an internet celebrity thanks to his makeup tutorials, and was later named CoverGirl's first male spokesmodel in 2016. Joey Nolfi,, "James Charles apologizes for 'flirty' messages with underage boys: 'I'm ashamed'," 2 Apr. 2021 Phil is married to Carlile’s little sister Tiffany, who does Carlile’s makeup and hair; Tim is married to the band photographer Hanna Hanseroth; and their cellist Josh Neumann is married to Catherine’s sister Sarah. New York Times, "Brandi Carlile Has Always Seen Herself Clearly. Now It’s Our Turn.," 1 Apr. 2021 No more wondering what to wear on Zoom or putting on makeup to look your best on Skype. Larry Dvoskin, Rolling Stone, "How Creatives Can Explore and Contribute to Clubhouse," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Records provided by Adams show that officers gave about a fifth of traffic citations in the past three years to Black drivers, even though Black people make up just 7 percent of the county’s population. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "In former Klan country, one Black woman decides she’s had enough," 31 Mar. 2021 Surtain doesn’t possess blinding speed, but his physicality and study habits will make up for any deficiencies. oregonlive, "NFL mock draft 2021 (3.0): San Francisco 49ers select a QB, but which one? Oregon’s Penei Sewell selected at No. 5 to the Bengals; trades and other predictions," 29 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, Robinhood saw the number of women on its platform quadruple in February versus the same month last year and now make up nearly 30% of its customers. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "More women are turning to investing during the pandemic," 29 Mar. 2021 As of Wednesday, Black residents in Ohio made up 18% of coronavirus hospitalizations, though Black people only make up 14% of the state’s population. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "COVID showed the cracks in society. How can we fix them?," 28 Mar. 2021 Nationwide, Muslims comprise nearly 14% of the 1.4 billion people, while Hindus make up 80%. Star Tribune, "Modi's party seeks big win as 2 key Indian states vote," 27 Mar. 2021 As of Thursday, March 25, 8.2% of those getting one or more doses of any COVID vaccine from whom the race is known are Black while Blacks make up 14.1% of the Michigan's population, according to state data. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Vaccine clinics in metro Detroit use churches, radio to reach minorities underrepresented in vaccinations," 26 Mar. 2021 The air show and fireworks finale make up the traditional opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival's two weeks of fun and events leading up to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Thunder Over Louisville is back but has a new plan for 2021. Here's what to know," 25 Mar. 2021 After a year with no live performances, musicians are hoping to connect with their fans on the blockchain and make up for lost revenue by selling them nonfungible tokens. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Musicians Turn to NFTs to Make Up for Lost Revenue," 23 Mar. 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 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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