Meaning of cosmetic in English:


Pronunciation /kɒzˈmɛtɪk/

See synonyms for cosmetic

Translate cosmetic into Spanish


  • 1Relating to treatment intended to restore or improve a person's appearance.

    ‘cosmetic surgery’
    • ‘Reconstructive surgery corrects defects or restores function, while cosmetic surgery enhances or improves a person's normal appearance.’
    • ‘You've thought about having cosmetic nose surgery, but you're unsure if this procedure is for you.’
    • ‘Most cosmetic plastic surgeries are paid upfront by the patient.’
    • ‘These include everything from cough syrup to vision correction to certain types of cosmetic surgery and fertility treatments.’
    • ‘There is growing concern from surgeons and nurses that cosmetic surgery and rejuvenation treatments are growing without control.’
    • ‘The shocking gouge in the forehead has been filled in and cosmetic surgery has restored the indentation above the eyebrow.’
    • ‘Surgical or laser treatment by a cosmetic dermatologist may be considered on an individual basis.’
    • ‘In patients with concomitant strabismus, who have compromised or absent binocular fusion, treatment is cosmetic as permanent ocular realignment cannot be expected.’
    • ‘So who does this very expensive cosmetic treatment benefit?’
    • ‘It is in the process of moving light-based cosmetic treatments and devices into the home.’
    • ‘Standards in the cosmetic treatment field must be as high as other areas of health care.’
    • ‘It is important not to rush into the decision to have any cosmetic treatment.’
    • ‘This procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed.’
    • ‘That's more than all cosmetic surgeries combined.’
    • ‘So two years ago I decided to explore the possibility of cosmetic surgery.’
    • ‘Are there people with underlying medical conditions that should not have this type of cosmetic surgery?’
    • ‘Thus, for example, many indemnity insurers will not pay for elective cosmetic surgeries.’
    • ‘Encourage them to keep track of their feelings regarding their pending cosmetic surgery.’
    • ‘Staying with the body beautiful, cosmetic dentistry is set to become this year's big hitter.’
    • ‘The changes, which could come into force as soon as October, would require cosmetic body piercing businesses to register with local authorities and adhere to by-laws.’
    beautifying, improving, non-medical
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Serving to improve the appearance of the body, especially the face.
      ‘cosmetic creams’
      • ‘Confidence in one's own body, going beyond cosmetic appearance, is necessary for this.’
      • ‘Their offerings run the whole spectrum, edibles, medicinals, but most important from a cottage industry perspective, the body care and cosmetic market.’
      • ‘However, body kits are merely cosmetic alterations.’
      • ‘Body painting, equally cosmetic and symbolic, is part of traditional attire.’
      • ‘Before she attempted to drop weight, I never found anything wrong with her body on a cosmetic level.’
      • ‘Clinical evaluations were performed by two investigators scoring properties with regard to response rate, cosmetic outcome and adverse effects.’
      • ‘Local counterfeit items such as washing detergents, cosmetic creams and lotions, soft drinks and other similar products, now enjoy a growing share of the market.’
      • ‘If your Shih Tzu objects strenuously to nail grinding, it is advisable to not force the issue since grinding is mostly for a cosmetic effect.’
      • ‘Besides it may also lead to reduced masticatory (the ability to chew), joint problems and cosmetic effects.’
      • ‘The two to three edible nuts of the seed are eaten raw or roasted; from these, a stable oil is pressed for use in cosmetic creams and as a meat preservative.’
      • ‘Initially, the effects are reflected as cosmetic problems, which typically show up on the face and body.’
      • ‘An archaeological dig in central London has unearthed a 2,000-year-old pot of cosmetic cream.’
      • ‘In 90 percent of cases, topical vitamin E either had no effect, or actually worsened the cosmetic appearance of scars.’
      • ‘Lacking in the sample was coverage of surgeries performed for only cosmetic purposes.’
      • ‘Treatment by surgical excision or physical ablation of the excess tissue may improve cosmetic appearance.’
      • ‘Dr Rodgers runs a thriving practice, usually catering for rich clients seeking plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes.’
      • ‘A variety of facial cosmetic treatments may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.’
      • ‘There are many cosmetic dental treatments you can have to enhance the appearance of your teeth.’
      • ‘That is what most needs to be removed from the media and our lifestyle: the view that unnecessary and unhealthy plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures should be applauded.’
      • ‘It is a plastic surgery technique used to improve the functional and cosmetic appearance of scars.’
      make-up, beauty, beautifying
      View synonyms
  • 2Affecting only the appearance of something rather than its substance.

    ‘the reform package was merely a cosmetic exercise’
    • ‘We are concerned that this might be a cosmetic exercise rather than dealing with the real issues.’
    • ‘Most of the damage is cosmetic rather than structural, but many hotels may not reopen until the end of the year when the busy Christmas season starts.’
    • ‘The agenda set by those who participated struck me as a desire for a more cosmetic makeover rather than a radical change for newspapers to make them more relevant to all ages.’
    • ‘My editor believes that readers deserve to know the full facts about a review product rather than a cosmetic look at the item.’
    • ‘Most of the feedback focuses on cosmetic changes rather than content.’
    • ‘Each offers a deep rather than cosmetic emphasis on applications.’
    • ‘We're sure there's more to it than that, but the changes seem primarily cosmetic rather than functional.’
    • ‘To some extent the removal of differences in influence and importance is cosmetic rather than real.’
    • ‘But the visit is largely seen as a cosmetic exercise to prove that the disagreement over the delay in the elections has not caused a rift between the governments.’
    • ‘He says the initiative is a cosmetic exercise to bolster the force's reputation.’
    • ‘If not, then recruitment is only going to be a cosmetic exercise.’
    • ‘The efforts in recent years of successive governments at decentralisation is no more than a cosmetic exercise.’
    • ‘Others in the Cabinet believe that even if the exercise is financially cosmetic, the Treasury must be seen to give something.’
    • ‘Otherwise, this public consultation will be seen as a cosmetic exercise.’
    • ‘The investment in design features is more than cosmetic; it affects the way the reader will experience the text, making this a book to cherish.’
    • ‘But the purpose and function remains the same: cosmetic improvements cannot reverse the de-humanising effect of the culture.’
    • ‘The final result, 3-2, was flattering because the two late goals had only a cosmetic effect on a match which had been won in 18 fatal minutes.’
    • ‘The planners' report said the current appearance of the building was very poor and any cosmetic improvement to the building would benefit the wider area.’
    • ‘Most of the effects are cosmetic as it only alters the presentation of the numbers rather than affecting crucial numbers like cash flow.’
    • ‘The program suggestions were humanistic improvements - albeit cosmetic ones - to early TV fare.’
    superficial, surface, skin-deep, outward, exterior, external
    View synonyms


usually cosmetics
  • A preparation applied to the body, especially the face, to improve its appearance.

    ‘the range covers everything from the latest cosmetics to skin and hair care’
    • ‘Castor oil is also used in the preparation of cosmetics, especially kajal and lipsticks.’
    • ‘A valuable medicinal tree, it is also used in the preparation of most herbal cosmetics.’
    • ‘Recycled liquid fuel is made from liquids created in the manufacture of everyday products like paint and cosmetics.’
    • ‘Biocides are used in a variety of products ranging from cosmetics to paints, and from drinking water to swimming pools.’
    • ‘You shall perform a makeover of your cosmetics and skin care paraphernalia.’
    • ‘Ever wondered what women who sell cosmetics keep in their make-up bag?’
    • ‘It is not strange to see a woman with 10 different lipsticks in her cosmetics bag.’
    • ‘Today's make-up and cosmetics counters are much friendlier than in the past.’
    • ‘Bad cosmetics and skin care products containing mineral oil and other harmful chemicals run a close second.’
    • ‘It is among the foremost brands when it comes to fragrances, skin care and colour cosmetics.’
    • ‘Consumers should also test the cosmetics in a small skin area before using them regularly.’
    • ‘White wax finds use in cosmetics purely because it presents a better appearance.’
    • ‘Makeup base is one of the most commonly misused cosmetics, but it doesn't have to be.’
    • ‘Today we associate make-up primarily with women, but historically men also used cosmetics.’
    • ‘The French cosmetic brand recently introduced its range of cosmetics in the City.’
    • ‘Avoid oil-based cosmetics and try not to use heavy or greasy moisturisers.’
    • ‘Moisturisers are one of the easiest cosmetics to enhance with essential oils.’
    • ‘The use of cosmetics can be reduced and only natural creams and skins cleansers applied.’
    • ‘Skin-care and makeup tips will be given by a representative from a leading cosmetics company.’
    • ‘Still, it focuses on cosmetics partially made by green tea, and instant foods made from green tea.’
    make-up, beauty products, beauty aids
    View synonyms


Early 17th century (as a noun denoting the art of beautifying the body): from French cosmétique, from Greek kosmētikos, from kosmein ‘arrange or adorn’, from kosmos ‘order or adornment’.