Definition of dissemble
1 : to hide under a false appearance dissembling the facts
2 : to put on the appearance of : simulate She lay down and dissembled sleep.
: to put on a false appearance : conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense He had dissembled about the risks involved.
dissemblerplay \-b(ə-)lər\ noun
dissemble was our Word of the Day on 11/10/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of dissemble in a sentence
he dissembled happiness at the news that his old girlfriend was getting married—to someone else
children learn to dissemble at a surprisingly early age
Did You Know?
We don't have anything to hide: "dissemble" is a synonym of "disguise," "cloak," and "mask." "Disguise" implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity. "Cloak" suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention. "Mask" suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something. "Dissemble" (from Latin dissimulare, meaning "to hide or conceal") stresses the intent to deceive, especially about one's own thoughts or feelings, and often implies that the deception is something that would warrant censure if discovered.
Origin and Etymology of dissemble
Middle English dissymblen, alteration of dissimulen, from Medieval French dissimuler, from Latin dissimulare — more at dissimulate
First Known Use: 15th century
DISSEMBLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dissemble for English Language Learners
: to hide your true feelings, opinions, etc.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up dissemble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).