make·​up | \ ˈmāk-ˌəp How to pronounce makeup (audio) \

Essential Meaning of makeup

1 : the way in which something is put together or arranged
2 : the physical, mental, and moral character of a person His daring attitude toward risks is a major part of his makeup. her psychological makeup
3 : substances (such as lipstick or powder) used to make someone's face look more attractive She put on some makeup before the party. She applied her makeup lightly/heavily. See More Exampleswearing heavy/thick makeup She's too young to wear makeup. a makeup artist [=a person whose job is to put makeup on actors or models]Hide

Full 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

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of makeup in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 Then at Giambattista Valli, makeup artist Isamaya Fffrench played up dewy complexions with glossy lips in shades of coral and dark berry, while at Nina Ricci models sported lacquered pouts that leaned more au naturale. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2021 Khloé accused Kardashian West (played by Heidi Gardner) of stealing her makeup artist, while Kris sued daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Ally Mauch,, 10 Oct. 2021 Male employees were not allowed to wear makeup outside of specific entertainment positions and were only allowed to wear clear nail polish, the employee handbook showed. Katie Rice,, 23 Sep. 2021 The first is the thong bikini-wearing OnlyFans star who posts underboob on the regular and the second dresses only in oversized sweats and doesn't wear makeup. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 17 Aug. 2021 As the world slowly reopens, people are starting to wear makeup again. Megan Decker,, 8 Aug. 2021 In one instance, according to James' investigation, a restaurant manager told female servers to wear makeup and get breast implants. CBS News, 23 July 2021 The result was a riot of color, bold prints, and rich textures, which was essentially the starting point for the hair and makeup. Tish Weinstock, Vogue, 29 Sep. 2021 No thanks to his hair and makeup team, Platt is bizarrely styled to look like a tax auditor who wandered into a high-school English class. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 28 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Native and Indigenous people make up 1.5% of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census and 6.2% of the Canadian population. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2021 Women make up half of the world’s population and achieve various degrees of success, yet their roles in boardrooms often remain imperceptible. Somdutta Singh, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Blacks make up about 6 percent of the city’s populace. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Oct. 2021 For example, the 268 students who tested positive at Southside ISD in the same period make up 4.7 percent of that district’s enrollment. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Oct. 2021 But others note that the region has suffered heavily during the pandemic, and many Latin American countries have made vaccine deals with countries and companies to make up for COVAX shortfall — in essence, buying twice. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 11 Oct. 2021 Those three make up the most solid top tier of any race. Nate Jones, Vulture, 9 Oct. 2021 Very liberals make up 20% among those who identify as closer to the Democratic Party and are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year. Harry Enten, CNN, 9 Oct. 2021 Ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly minority Shiite Muslims, make up about 6% of Kunduz’s population of nearly 1 million people. Samya Kullab And Tameem Akhgar, USA TODAY, 9 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for makeup

Time Traveler

The first known use of makeup was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near makeup

make time for (someone)


make up

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Statistics for makeup

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Makeup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for makeup


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on makeup

Nglish: Translation of makeup for Spanish Speakers

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


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