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[roozh] /ruʒ/
any of various red cosmetics for coloring the cheeks or lips.
a reddish powder, chiefly ferric oxide, used for polishing metal, glass, etc.
verb (used with object), rouged, rouging.
to color with rouge.
verb (used without object), rouged, rouging.
to use rouge.
Origin of rouge
1475-85; < French: red < Latin rubeus; akin to red1
Related forms
unrouged, adjective
Can be confused
rogue, rouge.


[roozh] /ruʒ/
adjective, French.
red; noting the red numbers in roulette.
Compare noir. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rouge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The heralds in their tabards were marvellous to behold, and a nod from rouge Croix gave me the keenest gratification.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Her face was ghastly, save for the trace of rouge; her eyes were red-rimmed.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Perhaps this report arose from the fact of a rouge pot having been found in the school.

    Meg's Friend Alice Abigail Corkran
  • Had she got the rouge a trifle brighter on one cheek than on the other?

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • From five in the evening, with various alternations of chance, he hung over the bank of rouge et noir.

  • How ashamed the poor old man was; he reddened through all his rouge.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • “Yes, with leather and rouge,” said Uncle Richard, as he too put on his glasses and examined the surface carefully.

    The Vast Abyss George Manville Fenn
  • rouge, whether made or bought, should always be washed to get rid of grit.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • Another pale-faced reader, who asks if she shall put on rouge.

British Dictionary definitions for rouge


a red powder, used as a cosmetic for adding redness to the cheeks
short for jeweller's rouge
verb (transitive)
to apply rouge to
Word Origin
C18: from French: red, from Latin rubeus
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 rouge

1753, in cosmetic sense, "blush," from French rouge "red coloring matter," noun use of adjective "red" (12c.), from Latin rubeus, related to ruber "red" (see red). 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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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