c. 1600, "the art of beautifying, art of anointing or decorating the human body," from Latinized form of Greek kosmetike (tekhnē) "the art of dress and ornament," from fem. of kosmetikos "skilled in adornment or arrangement," from kosmein "to arrange, adorn," from kosmos "order; ornament" (see cosmos). The adjective is feminine because tekhne is a feminine noun.
Meaning "a preparation for beautifying, preparation that renders the n soft and pure or improves the complexion" (originally also the hair) is attested from 1640s. Related: Cosmetics.
1640s, "pertaining to beauty, improving beauty," from French cosmétique (16c.), from Latinized form of Greek kosmetikos "skilled in adornment or arrangement," from kosmein "to arrange, adorn," from kosmos "order; ornament" (see cosmos). Related: Cosmetical (1550s). Of surgery, from 1926. Figurative sense of "superficial, affecting the appearance only" is from 1955. Related: Cosmetically.
c. 1200, "the universe, the world" (but not popular until 1848, when it was taken as the English equivalent to Humboldt's Kosmos in translations from German), from Latinized form of Greek kosmos "order, good order, orderly arrangement," a word with several main senses rooted in those notions: The verb kosmein meant generally "to dispose, prepare," but especially "to order and arrange (troops for battle), to set (an army) in array;" also "to establish (a government or regime);" "to deck, adorn, equip, dress" (especially of women). Thus kosmos had an important secondary sense of "ornaments of a woman's dress, decoration" (compare kosmokomes "dressing the hair," and cosmetic) as well as "the universe, the world."
Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word to "the universe," perhaps originally meaning "the starry firmament," but it later was extended to the whole physical world, including the earth. For specific reference to "the world of people," the classical phrase was he oikoumene (ge) "the inhabited (earth)." Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikoumene. Kosmos also was used in Christian religious writing with a sense of "worldly life, this world (as opposed to the afterlife)," but the more frequent word for this was aiōn, literally "lifetime, age."
The word cosmos often suggested especially "the universe as an embodiment of order and harmony."
"cosmetic for coloring eyebrows and eyelashes," originally used by actors, 1883, mascaro (modern form from 1922), from Spanish máscara "a stain; a mask," from same source as Italian maschera "mask" (see mask (v.)).