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[ma-skar-uh; British ma-skahr-uh] /mæˈskær ə; British mæˈskɑr ə/
a substance used as a cosmetic to color the eyelashes and eyebrows.
verb (used with object)
to apply mascara to.
1885-90; < Spanish: mask; see mask Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mascara


a cosmetic substance for darkening, colouring, and thickening the eyelashes, applied with a brush or rod
Word Origin
C20: from Spanish: mask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mascara

cosmetic for coloring eyelashes, 1883, mascaro (modern form from 1922), from Spanish mascara "a stain, a mask," from same source as Italian maschera "mask" (see mask (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for mascara


town, northwestern Algeria, situated about 40 miles (60 km) south of the Mediterranean coast. Spread across two hills separated by the Wadi Toudman, it lies on the southern slope of the Beni Chougran Range of the Atlas Mountains. Mascara ("Mother of Soldiers") was founded as a Turkish military garrison in 1701. In about 1790 the town was abandoned by the Spanish Muslims who had settled there and was returned to the Turks, who settled a Jewish community there. In 1832 Abdelkader, an Algerian patriot who was born in the vicinity, chose Mascara as his headquarters. The town was reduced to ruins by the French in 1835, but total control was contested until 1841. Now an administrative, commercial, and market centre, Mascara has expanded beyond the ruins of its ancient ramparts. The main French-built town is to the northeast, and the Muslim town is to the northwest, overlooking the well-cultivated Ghriss Plain. There is much trade in leather goods, grains, and olive oil, but the region's main industry is the production of wine of high repute. Pop. (1998 prelim.) 80,797.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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