One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A pigment or paint traditionally used in some societies, especially those of North American Indians, to decorate the face and body before battle.
- ‘Tattooing the skin by pricking and staining with dye reflects the use of woad by Celtic warriors, warpaint by North American Indians, and tattooing by Maoris.’
- ‘A band of Indians on their ponies, stripped to the waist, decorated with warpaint and feathers, came riding at full speed, emitting that penetrating yell that only an Indian is capable of making.’
- ‘Liminal or exceptional states are not restricted to the festive rituals of a community: they are also manifested in war, in marking the bodies with warpaint.’
- ‘As I looked at it it, it somehow reminded me of an Apache brave's warpaint.’
- 1.1informal Elaborate or excessively applied makeup.
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