• (British) IPA: /kɒzˈmɛtɪk/
  • (America) IPA: /kɑzˈmɛtɪk/


  1. Imparting or improving beauty, particularly the beauty of the complexion.
    a cosmetic preparation
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume I, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, […], OCLC 43265629 ↗, canto I, page 127 ↗:
      Firſt, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores / With head uncover'd, the coſmetic pow'rs.
  2. external#Adjective|External or superficial; pertaining only to the surface#Noun|surface or appearance of something.
    Fortunately, the damage to the house was mostly cosmetic and a bit of paint covered it nicely.
Related terms Translations Noun

cosmetic (plural cosmetics)

  1. Any substances applied to enhance the external color or texture of the skin, e.g. lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner; makeup.
  2. A feature existing only on the surface.
Synonyms Translations

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