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

Fear not, there were still a handful of wearable looks to steal inspiration from, but for the most part the spring makeup backstage was more for spectacle. Glamour, "21 Spectacular Makeup Looks From the Spring 2020 Runways," 17 Sep. 2019 Dunn then adds a dollop of SPF to protect her complexion underneath the makeup. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jourdan Dunn Reveals the Secrets Behind Her Model Off-Duty Glow," 16 Sep. 2019 The freshest looks still had punk touches, but came by way of oversized, slouchy sweaters, short plaid skirts, and flowing summer dresses — all punctuated with edgy makeup and pops of brightly colored hair. David Syrek,, "The best style at Riot Fest 2019," 15 Sep. 2019 Others noted that Brown still had makeup on at the end of the video. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Millie Bobby Brown Explains Why She Appeared Not to Use the Products for in a Skincare Routine Video," 13 Sep. 2019 The doll is dressed as Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust, sporting a shiny, striped jumpsuit, bold makeup and fiery red hair. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Barbie is releasing a Day of the Dead doll this week, and she is glorious," 9 Sep. 2019 Models also walked down the catwalk with Swarovski crystals integrated into their jewelry and makeup looks. Channing Hargrove,, "Christopher John Rogers Proves He Is A Designer’s Designer," 8 Sep. 2019 In the first study, 1,074 white and black participants were asked to evaluate one of 21 organizations whose ethnic makeup ranged from 0% black/100% white to 0% white/100% black. Evelyn Iritani, Quartz at Work, "White men and minority groups have different definitions of “sufficient” diversity," 5 Sep. 2019 The photo — which shows a makeup-free Simpson holding her 5-month-old daughter — seems innocent enough, and was largely flooded with compliments of how great the mother-of-three looks. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Jessica Simpson Hilariously Fires Back at An Instagram Comment About Her 'Nip Slip'," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Army Green Berets have made up the highest number of Americans dead this year, with nine killed in combat., "WASHINGTON — An American special forces soldier was killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, according to Defense Department officials, a little more than a week after President Trump called off peace negotiations with the Taliban.," 17 Sep. 2019 But corn flour, potato starch, and cornstarch make up the second, third, and fourth ingredients. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "5 Trader Joe's New Products to Try This Fall," 17 Sep. 2019 More than once, Sané made up ground while tracking back to stop breakaways just as players crashed into the box, sliding through clearances or forcing attackers to slow down and peel off to set up a play. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution," 17 Sep. 2019 According to the National Conference of State Legislators, women make up 15.7 percent of the state legislators in Alabama. al, "Alabama women mobilize for the 2020 election," 16 Sep. 2019 As a result, pedestrians make up a growing share of traffic deaths. Los Angeles Times, "Pedestrians die every 90 minutes in the U.S., and low-income areas are hurt most," 16 Sep. 2019 But what the filmmakers lacked in funding, industry partners can make up for in grants, representation, distribution and connections. Alexandra Del Rosario, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emerging Latinx and Hispanic Filmmakers on "Fighting the Good Fight" in Short Films," 15 Sep. 2019 A dozen soldiers led by Harris, a veteran of peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo, made up Agribusiness Development Team 2. Sig Christenson,, "After 18 years, Texas veterans wonder how long U.S. can stay in Afghanistan," 15 Sep. 2019 And with 160 sales for the electric iPace, the pair of SUVs made up more than half of Jaguar’s August sales of 2,128. San Diego Union-Tribune, "550-hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR: all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat," 15 Sep. 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

17 Oct 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

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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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