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If you take a makeup test, is it correct to call it a makeup, make up, or make-up test?

I know that makeup is also what some people put on their faces to look different. I think that make-up is what is used when you "make-up something" as in do something late. I think that "make up" is when you create something. So if you take a "makeup quiz" what is the correct one to use?

Is the following a correct sentence:

You can make-up the makeup exam?

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    Since I missed the first cosmetics test, the teacher created a new one for me on the spot. It was a make up make-up makeup exam. – Digital Chris Oct 31 '14 at 17:00
  • A similar question, with very useful answers, is When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word?. Note that English readily, over the course of time, drops the hyphen in compounded words, with notable exceptions that seemingly can be defined by rules. – JEL Sep 9 '15 at 21:18
  • @JEL: Yes, IMHO this question is a duplicate of that one. But it cannot be closed as a duplicate because it has a bounty. (Why does a bounty protect a question from being closed?) – Drew Sep 11 '15 at 20:41
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You said:

You can make-up the makeup exam.

Unless it's a make-up exam about cosmetics, this wouldn't be what you're looking for, especially since "make-up" is a descriptor and "make up" is an action.

You can make up the make-up exam.

Would be a consistent, sensible convention. As noted by @J.R. below, it's not necessarily correct since Harvard lists both. However, this is the convention that I would use.

[Make up] as the action and [make-up] as the descriptor.

Makeup as a compound word used to represent cosmetics.

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    That's one convention that could be used, but hardly a definitive answer. M-W gives specific mention of makeup exam, with the descriptor as a single word (no hyphen); so does OOD. Harvard omits the hyphen as well (at least on this web page), but Harvard's Extension School leaves it in. – J.R. Oct 31 '14 at 18:58
  • @J.R. I'll change my answer to recommend it as a convention rather than stating correctness – Jared Hooper Aug 13 '15 at 12:43
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    @J.R.: Maybe you could write an answer? I see that this question has almost 10000 views and we could all benefit form a more detailed answer. – Thomas Aug 28 '15 at 14:39
  • @J.R.: The bounty expires in one day.... – Thomas Sep 14 '15 at 13:13
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  1. Make up (verb)

    • Make up you mind. (to settle)
    • Twenty kids make up the class. (to constitute)
  2. Makeup (noun, or attributive adjective)

    • The makeup of the diverse sample is reflective of the population at risk for diseases.
    • He wore makeup. (cosmetics, sometimes "make-up")

    • We will take a makeup test. (something that makes up for)

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  • Thanks. I came here wondering about genetic makeup, which this answer addresses. But it would be better with some sources to back it up. – joeytwiddle Mar 3 '17 at 3:04
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If you have to take a test over, you make up the test. The test you make up is a make-up test. Be sure to put on your makeup before making up the make-up test. (When used as an adjective, make-up requires a hyphen.)

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    Hello, AnaP. Are you saying that M-W and Harvard are wrong when they use the solid compound as an attributive adjective? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 7 '15 at 22:45

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