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cosmetic (adj.)

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.

cosmetic (n.)

c. 1600, "the art of beautifying, art of anointing or decorating the human body," from Latinized form of Greek kosmetike (tekhne) "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.