cosmetic Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “cosmetic” in the English Dictionary

"cosmetic" in British English

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cosmeticnoun

uk   /kɒzˈmet.ɪk/  us   /kɑːzˈmet̬-/
cosmetics [plural] substances that you put on ​yourface or ​body that are ​intended to ​improveyourappearance: We ​sell a ​widerange of cosmetics and ​toiletries at a very ​reasonableprice.

cosmeticadjective

uk   /kɒzˈmet.ɪk/  us   /kɑːzˈmet̬-/
  • cosmetic adjective (NOT REAL)

disapproving Corrective ​changes, etc. are ​intended to make you ​believe that something is ​better when, really, the ​problem has not been ​solved: They were ​offered a few cosmetic ​improvements to ​theirworkingconditions, but nothing of ​significance.
Synonym
  • cosmetic adjective (IMPROVING)

[before noun] used to refer to ​substances or ​treatments that are ​intended to ​improveyourappearance: a cosmetic ​cream
cosmetically
adverb uk   us   /-ɪ.kəl.i/
(Definition of cosmetic from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cosmetic" in American English

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cosmeticadjective

 us   /kɑzˈmet̬·ɪk/
(esp. of ​changes and ​improvements) ​intended to ​improve the ​appearance of something without ​changingitsbasicstructure; ​superficial: Whether the ​change is more cosmetic than ​concrete is a ​matter of ​opinion.
(Definition of cosmetic from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"cosmetic" in Business English

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cosmeticnoun [C, usually plural]

uk   us   /kɒzˈmetɪk/
a cream or other substance that you put on your skin, hair, etc. in ​order to ​improve its appearance: Europe is the world's largest ​market for cosmetics. cosmetics industry/retailer, etc. The cosmetics ​industry has remained ​strong during the ​recession.

cosmeticadjective

uk   us   /kɒzˈmetɪk/
used to describe a ​smallchange, etc. that is made in ​order to make something seem better than it was before, and that does not really affect its basic ​character: We are ​committed to ​addressing the root causes of our problems rather than making only ​short-term cosmetic ​changes.
relating to a substance or ​treatment that is used to ​improve someone's appearance: The popularity of cosmetic surgery continues to ​soar.
(Definition of cosmetic from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“cosmetic” in Business English

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