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

Keep scrolling for more

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

camouflage, cloak, dress up, mask

Synonyms: Noun

camouflage, costume, guise

Antonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But on Succession, his height is an asset, not something to be disguised. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Cult Favorite: How Succession's Nicholas Braun Built the Myth of Cousin Greg," 14 Aug. 2019 The Globe reported in April that the company was considering structuring that deal using intermediaries, such that its control of licenses in excess of the state cap would be disguised. Dan Adams, BostonGlobe.com, "Massachusetts marijuana regulators hit Curaleaf with record $250,000 fine," 8 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors said the payments were disguised as legal bills. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "FBI tied Donald Trump and top aides to 2016 effort to silence a porn star, new court files show," 18 July 2019 Some also didn't love the fake front pockets and zipper-free design, which can both be disguised with a long top. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "These Spanx Jeans Might be the Ultimate Wardrobe Investment," 17 June 2019 It was disguised under a 16-foot long veil and tiara, after all. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Let Her Tendrils Down In The Official Royal Wedding Portraits," 21 May 2018 Mississippi’s white leaders did not disguise their intentions. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Mississippi Quotes John Roberts to Defend Its Racist Election Law," 19 July 2019 Many of those movies saw her character break out her best Wugong (martial arts), preparing Liu to take on the daunting task of fighting as Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to join the Imperial Army in China. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Everything you should know about live-action Mulan star Liu Yifei," 8 July 2019 Maybe that's why Ai Tre Scalini seems to be disguised, with tendrils of ivy and a discreet glow draping its entrance. Maresa Manara, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Spots for Aperitivo in Rome," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Forced to coach a girls soccer team, a salesman stacks it with his girlfriend’s son in disguise. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 But the adult counselors dressed in bathing suits and sneakers are mostly burn experts in disguise. Jenna Russell, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Here I can be free’: Childhood burn survivors find a haven in Conn. summer camp," 10 Aug. 2019 In the Chinese tale, two lovers — a humble cow herder and a weaver girl, a fairy in disguise — were torn apart when the Goddess of Heaven, the fairy’s mother, scratched her hairpin into the night sky, welling up a river of stars to separate them. Vanessa Hua, SFChronicle.com, "Can bridge of magpies span divisions in U.S.?," 8 Aug. 2019 By the 1950s, Anti-Mexican sentiment and violence grew to a fever pitch, fueled in part by fears that every laborer was a Communist in disguise. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "How Are You Keeping Your Hispanic Employees Safe?: raceAhead," 5 Aug. 2019 Early exits in both domestic cups last season might have been a blessing in disguise. SI.com, "Liverpool Could Play 67 Games in 2019/20 as FIFPro Report Condemns Dangerous Player Workloads," 2 Aug. 2019 In memory, during that long-ago evening on the edge of the woods, even my young children were drawn into its whirligig of shipwrecks, twins in disguise, misread letters, wise foolery and foolish wisdom. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Twelfth Night’ Review: A Bland Transposition," 11 July 2019 Rice, who gets more than half of his income from blue catfish, said the invaders have been a blessing in disguise. Christina Tkacik, Washington Post, "As blue catfish multiply in Chesapeake Bay, watermen pursue new catch," 10 June 2019 An unwanted turn of events will end up being a blessing in disguise. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: July 20, 2019," 20 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disguise

Statistics for disguise

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disguise

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!