1753, in cosmetic sense, "blush," from French rouge "red coloring matter," noun use of adjective "red" (12c.), from Latin rubeus, related to ruber "red" (from PIE root *reudh- "red, ruddy"). Replaced native paint in this sense. The verb is attested from 1777. Related: Rouged; rouging. The same word had been borrowed from French in Middle English with the sense "red color; red" (early 15c.).