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 That’s become the most important part for us, not who’s the best hair and makeup team. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "How Aly & AJ Reinvented Themselves and Made the Feel-Good Album of the Summer," 7 May 2021 The wardrobe department was incredible, hair and makeup was incredible. Katie Atkinson, Billboard, "Ahead of New Live Album, Sara Bareilles Is Taking Fans Back to the Hollywood Bowl," 6 May 2021 If a guest really isn't coming to New York for a reason other than promoting his/her movie with Fallon, why pay the five-star hotel and the personal hair and makeup artists? Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Late-night television may never be the same," 30 Apr. 2021 Bare feet weren't necessarily the cutest complement to my ivory robe and professionally done hair and makeup. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, "The One Thing I Forgot to Bring for Getting Ready On My Wedding Day," 27 Apr. 2021 The Oscars are always a bit more formal in the hair and makeup department than other award shows—this is where classic updos and red lipsticks really shine—and tonight was no exception. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Oscars 2021: The Hair and Makeup Looks Everyone Will Be Talking About," 25 Apr. 2021 The team estimates that Davis would spend 90 minutes each day in hair and makeup. Emma Fraser, Vulture, "How Ma Rainey’s Oscar-Nominated Hair and Makeup Team Transformed Viola Davis," 21 Apr. 2021 Instead of spending weeks in Los Angeles with producers and vocal coaches and hair and makeup artists, rocking out on a huge stage under bright lights with professional backup musicians, the show went virtual. Washington Post, "‘American Idol’ is asking for controversy with its new twist — and that’s exactly the point," 20 Apr. 2021 The videos came in response to Kardashian's team requesting for photos to be removed from social media that showed her apparently makeup-free and in a bikini. NBC News, "Khloe Kardashian says judgment over her body is 'almost unbearable'," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Three dollar store chains will make up almost half of all the new stores opening up in the United States this year, my CNN Business colleague Nathaniel Meyersohn reports. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Vanishing workers are the latest economic worry," 7 May 2021 Proterra Transit currently generates 80% of the company’s revenues but will only make up 31% of revenues in 2025 due to the explosive growth - estimated at a staggering CAGR of 114% - of its powered and energy activities. Sarwant Singh, Forbes, "New Innovative Business Models To Drive Growth Of Electric Buses And Light Commercial Vehicles," 6 May 2021 There's some questions with the lineup, but Trea Turner has been perhaps the best shortstop in baseball and Soto's presence everyday will make up for a lot of the team's shortcomings. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "The NL East was supposed to be MLB's best division, but things have been ugly. What happened?," 5 May 2021 As more and more young people get vaccinated, there has been an influx of horny tweets and vaccine thirst traps on Instagram as people try to manifest a summer 2021 that will more than make up for the abstinence of 2020. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, "Vaxxed, waxed and ready to kick off Shot Girl Summer in L.A.? Here are 5 expert tips," 22 Apr. 2021 The White House has said the Pfizer -BioNTech and Moderna shots will make up for the lost supply. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Inoculating the Government," 21 Apr. 2021 Both Toronto and Kansas City and Colorado and the Mets will make up Friday’s games as part of doubleheaders on Saturday., "AP: Median MLB salary down more than 6 percent since 2017," 16 Apr. 2021 But increases from Moderna and Pfizer will not make up for the plunge in Johnson & Johnson supply. New York Times, "Plunging Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Supply Dents State Inoculation Efforts," 9 Apr. 2021 The report titled Alabama Kids Count, indicates that children of color will make up the majority of the child population and the majority of the workforce by 2030. al, "First Lady Jill Biden will visit, actress Jennifer Garner won’t," 8 Apr. 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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