war paint


Definition of war paint

1 : paint put on parts of the body (such as the face) by American Indians as a sign of going to war

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Examples of war paint in a Sentence

a picture of a chief dressed in a headdress and war paint She piled on the war paint.
Recent Examples on the Web There was something ceremonious about drinking that SlimFast, like putting on war paint. Ottessa Moshfegh, The New Yorker, "The Smell of Doughnuts," 1 June 2020 One girl smears menstrual blood on her face like war paint; another fantasizes about giving birth, smashing her newborn’s head on the rocks and force-feeding the corpse to her rivals. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "The Wild Woman Awakens," 17 Dec. 2019 Bindis, feathered headpieces, dashikis, war paint: Coachella street style is mired in cultural appropriation. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Dear White Women, We Need To Talk About Coachella | Pop Feminist," 13 Apr. 2018 Putting on the war paint before my @foxandfriends interview this morning. Jessica Kwong, Newsweek, "Donald Trump Jr. Bets ‘Fox & Friends’ Is ‘Only Network Out There With American Flag Smock’ During Makeup Session," 13 Mar. 2018 Sitcom Indians wear feathers and war paint and say mystical things in halting English. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "It's not just Chief Wahoo. Why American Indian images became potent, cartoonish advertising symbols," 30 Jan. 2018 After weeks of persistent persuasion, Stills accepted teammate Isaac Asiata’s offer to put on the same facial war paint which the Dolphins guard is known for wearing during games. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "A face-painted Kenny Stills catches two late TDs in Miami Dolphins comeback win over the New York Jets | Miami Herald," 22 Oct. 2017

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

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for war paint

Time Traveler

The first known use of war paint was in 1826

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Statistics for war paint

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“War paint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/war%20paint. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for war paint

war paint


English Language Learners Definition of war paint

: paint put on the face, the arms, etc., by Native Americans before going into battle

More from Merriam-Webster on war paint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for war paint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with war paint

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