\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

Put on your favorite foundation and tap a cream rouge on the apples of your cheeks with your fingers or a stippling brush. Jamie Beckman, Allure, "Backstage Beauty Secrets From the Cast and Crew of Hamilton and Sleep No More," 13 Aug. 2018 Democrats still were one vote shy of a majority in the Senate, courtesy of another rouge Democrat from Brooklyn, state Sen. Simcha Felder, who caucused with the Republicans and refused to rejoin the Democrats. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The primary defeat of New York’s “independent Democrats,” explained," 14 Sep. 2018 Professional makeup artists reveal helpful dos and don'ts when applying rouge to the cheeks. Rose Minutaglio, Good Housekeeping, "Inside the School That Teaches You How to Be Santa," 16 Dec. 2017 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

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

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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More from Merriam-Webster on rouge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rouge

Spanish Central: Translation of rouge

Nglish: Translation of rouge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rouge for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rouge

Comments on rouge

What made you want to look up rouge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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