: a preparation used especially in Arabia and Egypt to darken the edges of the eyelids

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The actress looked sculpted to the high heavens thanks to a seamless contour and blush dusted across her cheekbones, paired with a strong brow and intense kohl eyeliner to create the perfect smokey eye. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 21 Feb. 2023 Some kept their hair long and wore the traditional shalwar kameez—occasionally in incongruously bright blues, oranges, or yellows—with their eyes lined with black kohl. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 There really is only one answer: Cleopatra, a woman whose power and kohl-lined gaze have remained fixed in our historical imagination for more than two thousand years. Thessaly La Force, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2022 Reach for a softer black kohl pencil rather than a skinny black liner and use your finger or shadow brush to blend it out. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 Sep. 2022 The Moroccan kohl powder used for enhancing their eyes created the most dramatic result. Jackie Fields, PEOPLE.com, 14 May 2021 Blame it on the surplus of cat-eyed models on the runway this season or the perennially cool effect of a dramatic rimming of kohl. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2019 But unibrows were actually considered alluring for both sexes, and were often accentuated with kohl. Marianna Cerini, CNN, 3 Mar. 2020 Behold Taylor Hill in a striking close-up portrait with kohl-rimmed eyes and Bulgari fine jewelry, looking like party Karlie’s ride or die. Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kohl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Arabic kuḥl

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kohl was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near kohl

Cite this Entry

“Kohl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kohl. Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a cosmetic used by women especially in Arabia and Egypt to darken the edges of the eyelids

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Helmut 1930–2017 chancellor of West Germany (1982–90) chancellor of Germany (1990–98)

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