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

transitive verb

: to change the customary dress (see dress entry 2 sense 1) or appearance of
disguised herself in a wig and glasses
: to furnish with a false appearance or an assumed (see assume sense 3) identity
disguised as a beggar
obsolete : disfigure
: to obscure the existence or true state or character of : conceal
unable to disguise his true feelings
də-ˈskīz(-ə)d-lē How to pronounce disguise (audio)
 also  diz-
də-ˈskīz-mənt How to pronounce disguise (audio)
 also  diz-
disguiser noun


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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Charm and charisma can easily disguise the fact that the prom queen and Carrie have some unsettling things in common. Kendra James, Town & Country, 21 Jan. 2023 Still, even trippy electroluminescent paint can't disguise the ID.7's dimensions, which are said to be similar to the outgoing Volkswagen Passat. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 4 Jan. 2023 Elite workaholism can disguise bad behavior from firms, as well as greed, vanity, and status-seeking from individuals. Charlie Tyson, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Dec. 2022 No amount of raining viscera can disguise the Hallmark twinkle of the film's upshot, polishing a lump of coal into yet another tribute to the most wonderful time of the year. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 1 Dec. 2022 Fraudsters used iSpoof to disguise their phone numbers then posed as representatives of legitimate British banks, including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Nationwide and TSB, police said. Danica Kirka, ajc, 24 Nov. 2022 Coach Jason Kidd didn’t disguise the need for urgency before the game. Dallas News, 18 Nov. 2022 The Oregonian under Pittock and Scott didn’t disguise its view that the United States was a white nation and should stay that way. Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian - OregonLive.com, 24 Oct. 2022 The device was allegedly colored with a sharpie marker and tied up in a plastic baggie to disguise it. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 6 Dec. 2022
The film relentlessly torments him, so that may be a blessing in disguise. Odie Henderson, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Jan. 2023 One talent representative whose client was among those fired says the dismissal was a blessing in disguise. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Jan. 2023 Coach Gregg Popovich hopes the remaining healthy players will see Vassell’s absence as a blessing in disguise. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Jan. 2023 Some drug researchers say the drug’s colorful, candy-like form isn’t intended as a lure for children but as a disguise for smuggling purposes, and to differentiate it from other forms of fentanyl. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2022 As well as injecting a unique sense of style into a space, the extra layer of texture works as a clever disguise for imperfections in a drywall finish. Sophie Flaxman, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Aug. 2022 Donning a pair of glasses functions as a blunt disguise (now Superman is the bumbling reporter Clark Kent). New York Times, 14 July 2022 In protest of game laws, the Blacks killed deer in Hampshire and Windsor Forest, their faces blacked with soot as a disguise. Eula Biss, The New Yorker, 8 June 2022 Wilson pleaded guilty Wednesday to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding for allegedly entering the Capitol during the riot armed with a pocketknife and wearing a neck gaiter and hat as a disguise. Zachary Snowdon Smith, Forbes, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near disguise

Cite this Entry

“Disguise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disguise. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
dis·​guise dis-ˈgīz How to pronounce disguise (audio)
disguised; disguising
: to change the dress or looks of so as to conceal identity
spies disguised as tourists
: to keep from showing the existence or true character of : hide
disguised their true feelings
tried to disguise her voice
disguisedly adverb
disguiser noun


2 of 2 noun
: clothing put on to hide one's true identity or imitate another's
: an outward appearance that hides what something really is
a blessing in disguise

More from Merriam-Webster on disguise

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