dis·​guise | \ də-ˈskīz How to pronounce disguise (audio) , dis-ˈgīz also diz- \
disguised; disguising

Definition of disguise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to change the customary dress (see dress entry 2 sense 1) or appearance of disguised herself in a wig and glasses
b : to furnish with a false appearance or an assumed (see assume sense 3) identity disguised as a beggar
2 obsolete : disfigure
3 : to obscure the existence or true state or character of : conceal unable to disguise his true feelings



Definition of disguise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : apparel assumed to conceal one's identity or counterfeit another's The bank robber was wearing a disguise.
2 : the act of disguising
3a : form misrepresenting the true nature of something blessings in disguise
b : an artificial manner : pretense threw off all disguise

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Other Words from disguise


disguisedly \ də-​ˈskīz(-​ə)d-​lē How to pronounce disguisedly (audio) , dis-​ˈgīz(-​ə)d-​ also  diz-​ \ adverb
disguisement \ də-​ˈskīz-​mənt How to pronounce disguisement (audio) , dis-​ˈgīz-​ also  diz-​ \ noun
disguiser noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disguise

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for disguise


disguise, cloak, mask mean to alter the dress or appearance of so as to conceal the identity or true nature. disguise implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity. disguised herself as a peasant cloak suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention. cloaked their maneuvers in secrecy mask suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something. smiling to mask his discontent

Examples of disguise in a Sentence

Verb He tried to disguise his voice on the phone but I could tell it was him. She disguised herself in a wig and glasses. We disguised the fact that we were disappointed. Noun He wore a disguise of glasses, a fake mustache, and a cap. The famous thief is known to be a master of disguise.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s a woman who disguises himself as a man, and a mysterious friend who turns up in the unlikeliest places. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Review: CT Rep’s 'Shakespeare in Love’ celebrates live theater in all its glorious forms," 25 Nov. 2019 The suspect entered the home on West 64th Street in the Saks community wearing a surgical mask to disguise himself. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Masked home intruder forced couple to perform sex acts, police say," 25 Nov. 2019 Viola disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, in order to protect herself. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, "Lyons Township tackles romantic Shakespearean comedy ‘Twelfth Night’," 16 Oct. 2019 Abdul disguised herself as one of the members of the LED dance crew Light Balance Kids and revealed herself after their performance. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul have been having 'American Idol' reunions all over," 19 Sep. 2019 To shimmy past the border guards, Alexandra and Yongden disguised themselves as arjopas — pilgrims who, through the year, begged their way from one sacred Tibetan site to another. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Megaplex: Here are the Houston arthouse movies showing Aug. 2-8," 1 Aug. 2019 Costumes, too, have long been a part of Halloween: In the Middle Ages, people would disguise themselves in order to fool any evil spirits that might be wandering about. Regina Hansen, WSJ, "The Multicultural Past of Our Commercial Halloween," 26 Oct. 2018 On Monday, Gerardot, 47, disguised herself by donning a wig, and took a train from Delaware to Radnor, where Chapman lived alone in a three-story brick property on the bucolic-sounding Lowrys Lane. David Gambacorta, Philly.com, "Radnor murder-suicide sparked by love triangle, police say," 24 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Back in December, a wonky schedule might have been a blessing in disguise that is now paying dividends towards the team’s consistency. Alex Miller, Dallas News, "Improvements have been visible with Texas A&M’s basketball team over the last month — here’s why," 17 Jan. 2020 Logically, Sanders would seem to pose a greater threat to America than not only her but the last Democratic president, a capitalist whom the right nevertheless spent eight years denouncing as a Marxist in disguise. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Bernie Sanders Has Finally Got Republicans’ Attention," 15 Jan. 2020 For professional magician Robby Bennett, who will perform Jan. 11-12 at Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson, the two years that an illness kept him home from Ed H. White Elementary School turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Childhood illness lead to Webster man’s career as magician," 2 Jan. 2020 The disguise was necessary because at the time homosexuality was classified as a mental illness. Los Angeles Times, "Ain Gordon unmasks gay history in ‘217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous’," 13 Oct. 2019 On this, the disguise would not be very effective because of the nickel’s alignment. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "Darrell Bevell Bounces Back Again, This Time in Detroit," 29 Aug. 2019 Video packages will also feature a contestant’s family and friends talking about the singer while in disguise, Ibarra added. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "What we know (so far) about The Masked Singer season 3: New costumes, 18 contestants, and more," 30 Dec. 2019 Most of the restaurants are part of nonprofit ministries in disguise, aiming to serve the under-served with dignity. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "Growing trend of pay-what-you-can restaurants in Louisville offer safe spaces and service," 16 Dec. 2019 Police in Georgia shared security camera footage of a GameStop store burglar who tried to conceal his face with an unusual disguise -- a clear plastic wrapper. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "The worst kind of crooks," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disguise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disguise


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disguise

Verb and Noun

Middle English disgisen, from Anglo-French desguiser, deguiser, from des- dis- + guise guise

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Time Traveler for disguise

Time Traveler

The first known use of disguise was in the 14th century

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Statistics for disguise

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disguise.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disguise. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for disguise


How to pronounce disguise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disguise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to change the usual appearance, sound, taste, etc., of (someone or something) so that people will not recognize that person or thing
: to hide (something) so that it will not be seen or noticed



English Language Learners Definition of disguise (Entry 2 of 2)

: clothes or other things that you wear so that people will not recognize you
: the act of changing your appearance so that people will not recognize you


dis·​guise | \ də-ˈskīz How to pronounce disguise (audio) , dis-ˈgīz \
disguised; disguising

Kids Definition of disguise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to change the looks or sound of to avoid being recognized He disguised his voice on the phone.
2 : to keep from revealing She disguised her true feelings.



Kids Definition of disguise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : clothing worn to avoid being recognized
2 : an outward appearance that hides what something really is a blessing in disguise

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Comments on disguise

What made you want to look up disguise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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