or make-up

[ meyk-uhp ]
See synonyms for makeup on
  1. facial cosmetics, as eye shadow or lipstick.

  2. cosmetics used on other parts of the body, as to cover birthmarks.

  1. the application of cosmetics.

  2. the ensemble or effect created by such application: Her makeup was subtle but very effective.

  3. the total ensemble of cosmetics, wigs, costumes, etc., used by an actor or other performer.

  4. the manner of being made up or put together; composition: the makeup of a team; the makeup of a situation.

  5. physical or mental constitution: the makeup of a criminal.

  6. the art, technique, or process of arranging or laying out, as pages in a publication.

  7. the appearance of a page, book, newspaper, or the like, resulting from the arrangement and the variation in size and style of the printed elements: The makeup would be helped by a picture in this corner.

  8. Printing. the arrangement of set type, cuts, etc., into columns or pages.

  9. an examination, assignment, or the like, given to offset a student's previous absence or failure.

  10. an amount owed; balance.

Origin of makeup

First recorded in 1805–15; noun use of verb phrase make up

Other words from makeup

  • non·make·up, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use makeup in a sentence

  • So she did ask, though it was a great ordeal to make up her mind to do it; and they gave my mother a thousand francs.

  • She loved him now; and she had promised to make up for the long grey years of the past by marrying him almost at once.

  • All these different objects fully make up for whatever amount of dirtiness may occasionally be met with.

  • All that I can now say is, to desire that Trevithick will make up his mind to return to Cornwall immediately.

  • But we can hire the old hall, and all the men will be glad to subscribe—a few of us can make up the deficit.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton

British Dictionary definitions for make-up


  1. cosmetics, such as powder, lipstick, etc, applied to the face to improve its appearance

    • the cosmetics, false hair, etc, used by an actor to highlight his features or adapt his appearance

    • the art or result of applying such cosmetics

  1. the manner of arrangement of the parts or qualities of someone or something

  2. the arrangement of type matter and illustrations on a page or in a book

  3. mental or physical constitution

verbmake up (adverb)
  1. (tr) to form or constitute: these arguments make up the case for the defence

  2. (tr) to devise, construct, or compose, sometimes with the intent to deceive: to make up a song; to make up an excuse

  1. (tr) to supply what is lacking or deficient in; complete: these extra people will make up our total

  2. (tr) to put in order, arrange, or prepare: to make up a bed

  3. (intr foll by for) to compensate or atone (for): his kindness now makes up for his rudeness yesterday

  4. to settle (differences) amicably (often in the phrase make it up)

  5. to apply cosmetics to (the face) to enhance one's appearance or so as to alter the appearance for a theatrical role

  6. to assemble (type and illustrations) into (columns or pages)

  7. (tr) to surface (a road) with asphalt, concrete, etc

  8. (tr)

    • to set in order and balance (accounts)

    • to draw up (accounting statements)

  9. make up one's mind to decide (about something or to do something): he made up his mind to take vengeance

  10. make up to informal

    • to make friendly overtures to

    • to flirt with

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with makeup


Put together, construct or compose, as in The druggist made up the prescription, or The tailor said he could make up a suit from this fabric. This usage was first recorded in 1530.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.