dis·​guise | \də-ˈskīz, 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 \-​ˈgīz(-​ə)d-​lē, -​ˈkīz(-​ə)d-​ \ adverb
disguisement \-​ˈgīz-​mənt, -​ˈkīz-​ \ noun
disguiser noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disguise

Synonyms: Verb

camouflage, cloak, dress up, mask

Synonyms: Noun

camouflage, costume, guise

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


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.


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

To disguise those, the local government bought and installed 6.8 miles of fence, said Yulia V. Torgashova, a local financial analyst. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 The conservative defense of free speech disguises the fact that these thinkers are invested in protecting the status quo. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Grifters All the Way Down," 31 May 2018 And no amount of llamas in red pajamas can disguise that. Scott Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Should Steve Clifford return as Charlotte Hornets coach next season? | Charlotte Observer," 8 Apr. 2018 Yet their rhetorical posturing has largely disguised these similarities. Max Holleran, New Republic, "The Opportunistic Rise of Europe’s Far Right," 16 Feb. 2018 Hunter and his wife face a 60-point federal indictment for using campaign money for personal gain, allegedly sometimes disguised as contributions to veterans’ groups. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Midterm Elections Are Almost Here—What You Need to Know Now," 5 Nov. 2018 Among the highlights were Heston Blumenthal’s meat disguised as fruit and a first course at El Celler De Can Roca in Girona, Spain, which was served on a miniature olive tree placed on the table. John Clarke, WSJ, "After Eating at 99 of the World’s Best Restaurants, a Gourmet Whiffs at 100," 30 July 2018 In the financial sector, there are about 23 hidden tunnels disguised as encrypted web traffic for every 10,000 devices, compared with 11 such tunnels for every 10,000 devices across all industries, the study found. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "How Hackers Use Hidden Tunnels to Steal Data and Avoid Detection," 25 June 2018 The president would also clarify that the NATO alliance will respond to any attack—even a cyber attack on civilian targets or one conducted by special operators disguised as civilians. Evelyn Farkas, Time, "How Trump Could Actually Make the Summit with Putin a Success," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amber, in the classic disguise of a beret and sunglasses, has to weather the paparazzi, and the antics of a kooky (and possibly insensitively) conceived wedding planner. Vogue, "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding," 15 Nov. 2018 This recipe for purslane pesto is the perfect disguise to win over anyone wary of weed-eating. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Purslane may be growing in your lawn; for better health, put it in your diet," 10 July 2018 The key is the element of surprise, hence the disguises. CBS News, "An epic game of tag," 10 June 2018 Master of disguise Leonardo DiCaprio and a brunette. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "9 More Unexpected Celebrity Couples We’d Like to See," 31 May 2018 Episodes will be tied to, among others, Gabby Douglas, Deion Sanders and Idina Menzel – all decked out in disguises, of course. Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, "TV highlights for the week of May 6-12," 5 May 2018 With the help of disguises, tap-dancing sailors, and blackmail, Reno and Martin team up to help Billy win Hope's heart. Independencelocalschools, cleveland.com, "Independence High School Presents Anything Goes March 23-24: Community Voices," 17 Mar. 2018 Hendricks’ attorneys did not object to the agent’s use of a disguise or pseudonym. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "Key FBI witness in Isis trial of Charlotte man will wear a disguise to testify | Charlotte Observer," 8 Mar. 2018 Exploring whatever bit of nature is around you is exercise in disguise and isn't that the best kind?! Hannah Deely, Redbook, "5 Ways to Balance Your Life With the Swedish Concept of Lagom," 2 Oct. 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


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


see disguise entry 1

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Statistics for disguise

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disguise

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

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More Definitions for disguise



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, 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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More from Merriam-Webster on disguise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disguise

Spanish Central: Translation of disguise

Nglish: Translation of disguise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disguise for Arabic Speakers

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).


a knickknack or trinket

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