cosmetic

[ koz-met-ik ]
See synonyms for: cosmeticcosmetics on Thesaurus.com

noun
  1. a powder, lotion, lipstick, rouge, or other preparation for beautifying the face, skin, hair, nails, etc.

  2. cosmetics, superficial measures to make something appear better, more attractive, or more impressive: The budget committee opted for cosmetics instead of a serious urban renewal plan.

adjective
  1. serving to beautify; imparting or improving beauty, especially of the face.

  2. used or done superficially to make something look better, more attractive, or more impressive: Alterations in the concert hall were only cosmetic and did nothing to improve the acoustics.

Origin of cosmetic

1
1595–1605; <Greek kosmētikós relating to adornment, equivalent to kosmēt(ós) adorned, arranged (verbid of kosmeîn, derivative of kósmos order, arrangement) + -ikos-ic

Other words from cosmetic

  • cos·met·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·cos·met·ics, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cosmetic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cosmetic

cosmetic

/ (kɒzˈmɛtɪk) /


noun
  1. any preparation applied to the body, esp the face, with the intention of beautifying it

adjective
  1. serving or designed to beautify the body, esp the face

  2. having no other function than to beautify: cosmetic illustrations in a book

  1. derogatory designed to cover up a greater flaw or deficiency; superficial: their resignation is a cosmetic exercise

Origin of cosmetic

1
C17: from Greek kosmētikos, from kosmein to arrange, from kosmos order

Derived forms of cosmetic

  • cosmetically, adverb
  • cosmeticology, noun

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