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war paint

paint applied by American Indians to their faces and bodies before going to war.
Informal. makeup; cosmetics.
Informal. full dress; regalia.
Origin of war paint
An Americanism dating back to 1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for war paint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You may believe the plumes drooped and the war paint trickled.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • "It's not much of a war paint," said Nell, but contentedly enough.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice
  • War remained—he had only changed his war paint and cry and weapons.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • All the chiefs were in war paint tattooed to the last note of Indian art.

    The Border Watch Joseph A. Altsheler
  • I reckon they'll ride into town to give it, too, in all their war paint.

    The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch

    Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter
  • There were thirty of them, and their bodies were half covered with war paint.

    Brooks's Readers, Third Year Stratton D. Brooks
  • The wild men were the genuine article, in war paint and feathers.

    Twenty Years in Europe Samuel H. M. Byers
  • They were mounted on good horses and had on their war paint and all were stripped34 to their waists.

    Then and Now Robert Vaughn
British Dictionary definitions for war paint

war paint

painted decoration of the face and body applied by certain North American Indians before battle
(informal) finery or regalia
(informal) cosmetics
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for war paint

war paint

noun phrase


[1869+; fr the facial paint worn by Native American warriors]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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