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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Either way, these accessories are adorable and can really help elevate both your outfit and your makeup look. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 7 May 2022 This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, which alters their biological makeup. Ben Flanagan |, al, 6 May 2022 Researchers working with the Exploring the Great Pyramid Mission are raising money to develop a high-powered telescope to map its internal makeup from all angles. NBC News, 4 May 2022 One of the moments that really sticks with me is when Grace takes off on her makeup [season 4, episode 4]. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 3 May 2022 This was my mother’s first time ever having her makeup applied! Emerald Elitou, Essence, 3 May 2022 Alongside her surprise new 'do and her glowing makeup, Emma wore a custom two-piece look by Louis Vuitton. Seventeen, 2 May 2022 His makeup is very similar to Stroud’s -- a smart, accurate quarterback capable of making all the throws while not being much of a runner. Stephen Means, cleveland, 1 May 2022 But regardless of her outfit, her makeup will be practical yet glowy for the occasion. Alicia Vrajlal,, 1 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Covid vaccines are not authorized for use in children under the age of 5, who make up 75% of the British cases. Helen Branswell, STAT, 9 May 2022 But other categories of immigrants such as asylum seekers—who make up 65% of all pending renewals—will benefit. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, 3 May 2022 On the last Sunday of each month, 89-year-old Pat Anderson of Escondido gets together with the six other local senior women who make up her highly specialized knitting circle. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The party tends to do better with nonwhite voters, who usually make up larger parts of urban environments. NBC News, 1 May 2022 Among Afghan Shiites, who make up about 20 percent of the population and are mostly minority ethnic Hazaras, such pledges have rung hollow, especially since they were persecuted during the Taliban’s first religious reign in the late 1990s. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2022 But internationals, who make up nearly 25% of the women’s basketball roster, got nothing. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 The fine musicians who make up the band bring a variety of musical experience to their performances that include entertaining at Playhouse Square, The Front Row Theater, Kenley Players, and The Coliseum. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 29 Apr. 2022 Jon Shirey, head of the union for Reedy Creek's firefighters, who make up about half the private government's 400 employees, asked supervisors to reassure his members that their jobs and benefits were safe. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near makeup

make time for (someone)


make up

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Statistics for makeup

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for makeup


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on makeup

Nglish: Translation of makeup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of makeup for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about makeup


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