disguise

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
disguisedly
də-ˈskīz(-ə)d-lē How to pronounce disguise (audio)
dis-ˈgīz(-ə)d-
 also  diz-
adverb
disguisement
də-ˈskīz-mənt How to pronounce disguise (audio)
dis-ˈgīz-
 also  diz-
noun
disguiser noun

disguise

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
An Indiana man is accused of using hidden cameras disguised as alarm clocks to record women in his home without their consent, police said. Lauren Liebhaber, Kansas City Star, 23 Feb. 2024 Yet Beijing’s increasing assertiveness abroad and repression at home convinced Mr. Pottinger and other senior U.S. officials that such assumptions were wrong, and that China’s leaders had disguised their true intentions. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Feb. 2024 In an undercover street buy, deputies brought back a baggie with about 10 pills disguised as prescription pain medication inside. Carter Evans, CBS News, 20 Feb. 2024 On one spoofing vessel, a red tarp was spread over its green deck in an apparent effort to disguise itself from satellites. Christiaan Triebert, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Traveling to Escape Could be a Sign of Avoidance Traveling at a frenetic pace and leaning into the frenzy of visiting country after country could be a form of escapism disguised as exploring exotic vacations. Amiah Taylor, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 All the high-end fixtures and plush, fluffy towels in the world can’t disguise the fact that a bathroom is meant for business. Sharon Greenthal, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Feb. 2024 This beautiful film takes place on the Italian Riviera and follows an unlikely friendship between a human boy (Tremblay) and a sea monster disguised as a human (Grazer). Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal, Parents, 5 Feb. 2024 More on the Middle East conflict Israeli troops disguised as women and doctors raided a hospital in the occupied West Bank this morning, killing three. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
Alan Tudyk is simply outstanding in this wonderful comedy about an alien who comes to destroy the planet, takes on a human disguise and then . . . Erik Kain, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Is that third Hemsworth brother wearing a disguise in the deep background of one shot? Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 There ain’t going to be no tricks or disguises, any of that kind of stuff. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 3 Jan. 2024 My intentions are the reverse: to remove disguises, not manufacture them. Truman Capote, Vogue, 1 Feb. 2024 Is this sometimes tongue-and-cheek or knee-jerk militancy a disguise for the pursuit of the American dream, which is exported worldwide by way of Black music? Harmony Holiday, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023 The natural, braided jute is extremely durable and disguises wear and tear. Moriah Mason, Southern Living, 28 Jan. 2024 Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has been terrific with his disguises, from simulated pressures to unusual twists and stunts. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 16 Jan. 2024 There is a bounty on her head, yet so far she’s managed to stay under-radar when off the job, and invisible (due to disguises and other tactics) while on it. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 12 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disguise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

disguise

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

disguise

2 of 2 noun
1
: clothing put on to hide one's true identity or imitate another's
2
: an outward appearance that hides what something really is
a blessing in disguise

More from Merriam-Webster on disguise

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