• synonyms


[ma-skar-uh; British ma-skahr-uh]
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  1. a substance used as a cosmetic to color the eyelashes and eyebrows.
verb (used with object)
  1. to apply mascara to.

Origin of mascara

1885–90; < Spanish: mask; see mask
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mascara


  1. a cosmetic substance for darkening, colouring, and thickening the eyelashes, applied with a brush or rod

Word Origin

C20: from Spanish: mask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mascara


cosmetic for coloring eyelashes, 1883, mascaro (modern form from 1922), from Spanish mascara "a stain, a mask," from same source as Italian maschera "mask" (see mask (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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