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

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

Yet, some presidential candidates in the first of 12 Democratic debates were running as if the country’s political makeup mirrors California’s strongly left-leaning bent. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Do Democrats want to score points or defeat Trump?," 8 July 2019 The plan since Taste of Oak Brook was started has been to use July 4 as a makeup for the fireworks show, which ends each Taste event, if July 3 was a washout. Chuck Fieldman,, "Village officials, restaurant owners talk about first Taste of Oak Brook cancellation," 5 July 2019 Some of that will depend on roster makeup and whether the Browns choose to keep two or three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Dan Labbe,, "Can Drew Stanton win games for the Browns? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 5 July 2019 Blackface refers to darkening one's complexion using paint or makeup. Jack Guy, CNN, "Italian airline apologizes over Obama blackface video," 4 July 2019 There's Luminess Cosmetics and The Lion King, Aladdin x M.A.C., ColourPop and Disney villains, and even a Little Mermaid-themed makeup brush set at Hot Topic. Elizabeth Denton, Allure, "Disney Just Released Minnie Mouse Ears Inspired by The Little Mermaid, and I Need Them," 2 July 2019 The makeup and fragrance seller, which is controlled by European investment firm JAB Ltd., has struggled with weak sales and executive turnover. Sharon Terlep, WSJ, "Struggling Beauty Giant Coty to Restructure Operations," 1 July 2019 These once were meant to illustrate the toll taken by her powers, and now illustrate what probably represents 30 seconds of on-set makeup application. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Stranger Things' Season 3: TV Review," 30 June 2019 Barrett, a devout woman whose denomination eschews makeup and jewelry, stood when Moore called her name. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The other quarter is made up of whatever wisecracks your veteran waiter is sure to dole out. Bon Appétit, "There are restaurant lists with rankings. And there are restaurant lists with purpose. This is the latter.," 9 July 2019 The first episode of the show on Tuesday night will be made up of footage recorded on Monday morning. Amy Kaufman,, "‘Love Island’ USA: We answer your burning questions about the U.K. reality TV sensation," 9 July 2019 The coalition government is made up of two right-leaning parties, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats, and two environmentalist ones, D66 and the Christian Union. The Economist, "Costly climate measures are hard to sell, but the Netherlands has a plan," 9 July 2019 During the shoot, the playlist was almost exclusively made up of songs by Hootie & the Blowfish, per the actress’s request. WSJ, "Contributors to WSJ. Magazine’s First All-Digital Issue," 8 July 2019 The jurors are made up of seven men and five women. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Retrial set for former Katy-area coach accused in wife’s killing," 8 July 2019 Executive produced by Robin Thede and Issa Rae, HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show is made up of hilarious sketches anchored by a core cast of Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, and Quinta Brunson. Paula Rogo, Essence, "How Many Celebs Can You Spot In ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ Trailer?," 8 July 2019 The clouds are made up of methane, ammonia and sulfur compounds. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Jupiter and its many moons put on a show this week," 7 July 2019 But its youth is made up for by its diversity of plant collections. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Need summer plant inspiration? Here are 4 beautiful gardens to visit near Louisville," 5 July 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

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 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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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

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