make·​up | \ˈmāk-ˌəp \

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


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

cosmetics, maquillage, paint, war paint

Synonyms: Verb

compose, comprise, constitute, form

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Examples of makeup in a Sentence


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.


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

Another experiment will calculate Mars’ wobble to reveal the makeup of the planet’s core. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives supersonic plunge," 28 Nov. 2018 Put makeup on, wear a suit and go drink some brandy so your voice gets deeper. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Memo from a ‘Facebook nation’ to Mark Zuckerberg: You moved fast and broke our country.," 26 Nov. 2018 The Lip Bar: Get 30 percent off entire site, free makeup bag with purchase (while supplies last), and $1 shipping on 11/23. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 Deals From All of Your Favorite Stores and Brands," 20 Nov. 2018 Got some mascara and a makeup compact with powder and a lipstick. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "What’s In Your Bag, The Regrettes?," 5 Nov. 2018 Yes, the makeup mogul and her 8-month-old baby decided to break the Internet by wearing mommy/daughter butterfly costumes in honor of All Hallow's Eve. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kylie Jenner and Baby Stormi's Matching Costumes Just Won Halloween," 30 Oct. 2018 What if your costume only involved reaching into your makeup bag? Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "One of Our Favorite Halloween Costume Ideas Is This DIY Vampire," 25 Oct. 2018 Rihanna — singer, makeup mogul, and our all-time favorite beauty vlogger. Zoë Weiner, Allure, "Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Holiday Makeup Tutorial Shows You How to Use Highlighter All Over Your Face," 18 Oct. 2018 Our area, given the diverse makeup of its immigrant communities, helps keep us focused on Latin America and Asia. Lisa Deaderick,, "Leading a local council to teach people about the world around them," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, the area more than makes up for this lack of accommodations in hospitality and authenticity. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 Long story short: The Xbox 360 is still the most popular controller on the planet, making up almost half the controllers registered by Steam since 2015. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: The Xbox 360 controller's continued dominance, Ace Attorney on PC, and The Crew 2's free weekend," 28 Sep. 2018 The only truly wild flock migrates between Texas and Alberta, Canada, and makes up about two-thirds of all birds in the wild., "Birth of 5 chicks signals comeback for Louisiana’s whooping crane," 13 July 2018 The only truly wild flock migrates between Texas and Alberta, Canada, and makes up about two-thirds of all birds in the wild. Washington Post, "Louisiana’s whooping crane comeback: 5 chicks this year," 13 July 2018 Hispanic women number 463, more than doubling since 2016, but making up about 2.3 percent of the workforce at Facebook, up from 1.8%. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's diversity efforts failing African-American and Hispanic women," 12 July 2018 And a report recently released by the agency showed that among the 340 people on whom police reported using force in 2017, black people made up 66 percent. Ted Andersen,, "Two-thirds of people banned from BART are black — and agency isn’t asking why," 6 July 2018 Roca’s Baltimore team has been carefully selected, made up almost entirely of local men and women with varied life experience. Yvonne Wenger,, "Nonprofit Roca begins relentless pursuit of Baltimore's most dangerous young men — to change them," 4 July 2018 Both Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli (introduced after going two goals down) got their names on the scoresheet to complete Belgium's triumph, and Vertonghen couldn't have been more made up., "Jan Vertonghen Admits He Had Given Up After Going 2-0 Down Against Japan Before Historic Comeback," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for makeup

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for makeup

The first known use of makeup was in the 14th century

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on makeup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with makeup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for makeup

Spanish Central: Translation of makeup

Nglish: Translation of makeup for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on makeup

What made you want to look up makeup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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