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 Like putting makeup and sequins on a perfect little child. CBS News, "Faith Salie on the bittersweet truth about her love of chocolate," 16 Feb. 2020 While minimal makeup has ruled the runway for many seasons, the mood in London was theatrical and playful with new takes on winged liner and subtle nods to punk. Samantha Tse, Allure, "The Best Hair and Makeup Looks From London Fashion Week," 15 Feb. 2020 Sales like these are also a good time to stock up on essentials like new makeup brushes. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Sephora Is Having a Surprise 50% Off Sale This President's Day Weekend," 15 Feb. 2020 Nevada, the first contest in the West, has a diverse population -- Latinos account for 29% of the state’s makeup, while African Americans, Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders make up 10% each. Molly Nagle, ABC News, "Biden campaign redeploys staff to South Carolina, Nevada ahead of critical primaries," 13 Feb. 2020 Firkus is still close with his mother, who appeared in one of the Trixie Mattel makeup videos on YouTube last month. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trixie Mattel is one of the most popular drag queens in the world. And it all started in Milwaukee.," 12 Feb. 2020 In the new video for the track, King Princess is introduced in a black and white clip, appearing on a small stage wearing her now-iconic Cheap Queen makeup look, performing a soft, love song to an intimate crowd. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "King Princess Finally Gives Fans What They Want With 'Ohio': Watch," 11 Feb. 2020 Laptops can be portals of procrastination, leading to hours of Bojack Horseman or YouTube makeup tutorials. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "How Your Laptop Ruined Your Life," 10 Feb. 2020 Recent investments, from boosting the speed of uploads to adding videos with makeup tutorials or cooking directions, have fueled the company’s growth—both in terms of revenue and users—but also added to the mounting losses. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Pinterest’s Revenue Topped $1 Billion in 2019," 7 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The core of the cast is made up of original stars, who will play themselves in cameo-type roles, and their family members, Cort said. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Filmmakers will shoot an 'Andy Griffith'-inspired movie in Indiana. You can be involved.," 19 Feb. 2020 Of that, more than $280 million is in cash, while the rest is made up of medication, charitable donations and money for attorneys’ fees. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Cuyahoga, Summit counties reaped benefits of settling early with opioid companies, officials say," 18 Feb. 2020 Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer courted several labor unions Sunday at a forum sponsored by United for Infrastructure, a nonprofit organization made up of labor unions and trade associations. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Democratic Candidates Court Unions With Infrastructure Pitch," 17 Feb. 2020 Every developer in Schulte’s group, which was predominantly made up of men, had top-secret security clearance, one witness testified. Nicole Hong,, "Life of a CIA coder: Nerf guns, pranks, and fat jokes," 17 Feb. 2020 The ERA Coalition, which is made up of several women's rights advocacy groups, urged McConnell to approve the resolution. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, "House passes resolution that would dissolve Equal Rights Amendment deadline," 13 Feb. 2020 Each facility is equipped with five care teams on average, which are made up of five to seven people and include: a physician, medical assistant, nurse, medical scribe, behavioral health specialists and medical social workers. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit to get 3 new Medicare clinics this spring," 13 Feb. 2020 The two student groups, which are predominantly made up of youth of color, meet regularly to work on their individual campaigns to pressure city officials. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "'Wanna strike today?' Teens school adults on climate change, segregation, gun control and more," 8 Feb. 2020 The core of the show is the family — the Lockes — which is made up of mum and three kids, who all move across the country after their dad is violently murdered. Rachel Paige,, "A Guide To All The Characters Unraveling Locke & Key’s Big Mystery," 7 Feb. 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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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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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