[ yel-oh-feys ]

  1. facial makeup used by a white, non-Asian actor or entertainer when portraying an East Asian: In Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, the role of Cio-Cio San was performed in yellowface.

Origin of yellowface

First recorded in 1850–55; yellow (in the sense “Asian”) + face

Words Nearby yellowface Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024