Definition of kohl in English:



mass noun
  • A black powder, usually antimony sulphide or lead sulphide, used as eye make-up especially in Eastern countries.

    • ‘She stood in front of the mirror and applied mascara and kohl to her eyes, blinking a few times.’
    • ‘I mean this girl had no makeup on except some lovely kohl around her eyes, and she was just so mesmerizing.’
    • ‘For one thing she was wearing rouge on her cheeks and kohl about her eyes.’
    • ‘I lined my eyes in thick black kohl, wore black nail polish and baggy clothes.’
    • ‘This black powder, called kohl, is usually made from antimony ground to an extreme fineness.’
    • ‘When they threw off their veils, we saw the kohl, lipstick, rouge and nail polish that the women wore.’
    • ‘He turned around to see me with kohl and mascara running down my cheeks.’
    • ‘Green eye shadow accented the dark lines of kohl around my eyes; red ochre was delicately laid on my cheeks.’
    • ‘Green kohl stretched to my eyebrows, and black galena acted as eyeliner.’
    • ‘His aged and pale face was painted white, his eyes lined with kohl.’
    • ‘Her mom had really done a number on her eyes, outlining them in dark kohl, then adding some coppery, glittery eye shadow.’
    • ‘My eyes were decorated with kohl, eyeliner and a touch of mascara.’
    • ‘Sitting restlessly I allowed my women to apply a layer of kohl about my eyes and a touch of coral color to my lips before dismissing myself to find my father.’
    • ‘She made her eyes look smoky with kohl and purple shades.’
    • ‘They accentuate their eyes with kohl, while they apply henna to make detailed designs on palms of their hands and sometimes the soles of their feet.’
    • ‘I only ever wore kohl, and a little ochre on my lips for banquets, although I did question the point in this, as it was usually rubbed away by the food.’
    • ‘His chocolate eyes were lined heavily with black kohl.’
    • ‘She had lined her slanted hazel brown eyes with kohl.’
    • ‘Historically, women have used lead, mercury, lemon juice, egg whites, milk, vinegar, kohl, and dye to enhance their facial features.’
    • ‘He was dressed in a green turban and a blanket, and his dark eyes almost seemed streaked with kohl.’
    cosmetics, greasepaint


Late 18th century from Arabic kuḥl.