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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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

Your makeup routine is probably similar to mine: glasses, lipstick, done., "Linda Rodin’s Rise To Accidental Style Icon," 12 July 2018 Pets never ask to review the photos or ask for a reshoot because of a bad hair day or their makeup was bad. Cassie Armstrong,, "All American Pet Photo Day: The picture pros share their tips," 11 July 2018 Kylie Jenner's makeup routine is a lot of things: gorgeous, filled with lust-worthy products, and intense, to name a few. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Watch Manny MUA Flawlessly Recreate Kylie Jenner’s Entire Makeup Routine," 9 July 2018 By then, the makeup of the court will be different with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Health insurers file suit for billions of dollars from federal government over Affordable Care Act commitments," 2 July 2018 And the makeup of the Arts & Culture Council's board is improper. Gordon R. Friedman,, "Local arts council needs spending oversight, Portland auditors say," 22 May 2018 That’s a good thing for the Sixers, as is the makeup of the rest of the field. David Murphy,, "Five targets for Sixers at No. 10, starting with Mikal Bridges | David Murphy," 15 May 2018 Because race isn't tracked in the process until jurors report for jury duty and voluntarily self-identify, the racial makeup of those who don't respond to jury summonses is unknown. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Expect to hear from the courts if you ignore jury duty in Louisville," 8 May 2018 The makeup of the current government is a fragile compromise, brokered in 2016 after a lengthy government paralysis. Nazih Osseiran And Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Lebanon Votes in Election Dominated by Regional Tensions," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Quality Control artist makes up the other half of City Girls. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Decoding All of Drake's References on 'In My Feelings'," 13 July 2018 White and Asian employees made up 55.5 percent and 34.7 percent, respectively, of the company’s workforce. James Rogers, Fox News, "Facebook making slow progress on diversity, report says," 13 July 2018 These make up seven of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. An estimated — 60 percent of adults — have one or more chronic conditions. Karen S. Lynch, STAT, "Everyone deserves a holistic, patient-centric health care system," 12 July 2018 After all, oil and gas makes up the vast majority of the state’s revenue. Kelsey Brugger, Scientific American, "Alaska Wants to Fight Warming While Still Drilling for Oil," 12 July 2018 Yet women make up just 19 percent of equity partners, and 30 percent of non-equity partners, at firms nationally., "Women in law paint picture of harassment," 12 July 2018 Consumer goods made up only about 1 percent of that amount. Anchorage Daily News, "A new round of proposed Trump tariffs would hit US consumers," 12 July 2018 Indigenous Australians make up only 3 percent of the national population, but 25 percent of Australia’s prison population. Rod Mcguirk, USA TODAY, "Australian police chief apologizes to indigenous people," 12 July 2018 Muslim and Christian Arabs make up 21 percent of the population, and other non-Jewish minority groups account for 5 percent. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Jewish or democratic? Israel debates its founding principles.," 12 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

17 Oct 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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Comments on makeup

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