\ˈrüzh, especially Southern ˈrüj\

Definition of rouge 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various cosmetics for coloring the cheeks or lips red

2 : a red powder consisting essentially of ferric oxide used in polishing glass, metal, or gems and as a pigment


rouged; rouging

Definition of rouge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to apply rouge to

2 : to cause to redden

intransitive verb

: to use rouge

Examples of rouge in a Sentence


She was wearing too much rouge.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With its rouge-tile-roofed casitas hidden among orange trees and moated by roses, the resort oozes Old World elegance from the handmade furniture in its rooms to a postcard-perfect badminton court. Joe Drape, New York Times, "On an Arizona Road Trip, Miles of Family Firsts," 12 June 2018 But for those of you who would appreciate a little guidance in the rouge application area, just keep on reading. Sophia Panych, Allure, "The Foolproof Guide to Applying Blush for Your Face Shape," 24 June 2018 Her Swipe lip colors ($24) and rouges ($26) are embossed with fingerprints: coaxing Generation Snapchat into relaxed face painting, and suggestive of its casual surrender of personal data. New York Times, "Linda Wells Shows Flesh: Woke Makeup for Revlon," 21 June 2018 To get the look, Bailly chose a peach tablecloth, deep red napkins and rouge cups from Merci. Rachel Swalin, ELLE Decor, "How To Throw A Kid-Friendly Valentine's Day Dinner Party That's Fun And Sophisticated," 4 Feb. 2017 And Washington is our modern Versailles, just as sick as the palace of the French royals but without the rouge and powdered wigs and countertenors. John Kass,, "Trump, Blago and the cost of corruption," 1 June 2018 In Giuliani's case, his rouge red-herring campaign did lead the public away from Russia and Mueller … and right to Stormy's doorstep. Lorraine Ali,, "Kanye West and Rudy Giuliani: The mouths that recklessly roared," 5 May 2018 No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rouge states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Read Trump’s statement on Syria strike: ‘They are crimes of a monster’," 14 Apr. 2018 One weekend in February, when the Canadiens were in town, the Strip was awash in bleu-blanc-et-rouge for three days. Charles P. Pierce,, "Win City: The Playoff-Bound Golden Knights Have Helped Humanize—and Heal—Las Vegas," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sharing the catwalk with fellow gender-benders Jazelle and Munroe Bergdorf, Desmond wore his slicked gray hair and rouged cheeks with natural swagger. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "8 Beauty Moments That Ruled the New York Runway This Weekend," 12 Feb. 2018 From left: Prada’s Fair-Isle layered combo; an appealingly modest iteration at The Row; full-onmid-90s nostalgia at Versace; an ankle-grazing ensemble at Max Mara; Dior’s rouge 1960s revival. Rebecca Malinsky And Rory Satran, WSJ, "A Complete Guide to Fall’s Best Women’s Fashion Trends," 9 Mar. 2018 A normally modest Lisa Gherardini appears for her sitting heavily rouged, her hair in a snood, her lavish jewelry and ornamental scarves someone else’s idea. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "Intriguing stories swirl in new play about the iconic Mona Lisa," 17 July 2017 This is even better in a version rouged by chile oil and hiding traces of Sichuan peppercorn, their presence betrayed by a gradual blurring of the lips. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "For This Soup, Some Assembly Is Required (and Provided)," 2 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rouge.' 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 rouge


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1752, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rouge


French, from Middle French, from rouge red, from Latin rubeus reddish — more at ruby

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Statistics for rouge

Last Updated

20 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for rouge

The first known use of rouge was in 1746

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More Definitions for rouge



English Language Learners Definition of rouge

: a red powder or cream that is used to make your cheeks pinker


\ˈrüzh \

Kids Definition of rouge

: a cosmetic used to give a red color to cheeks or lips

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