dissemble

verb
dis·​sem·​ble | \ di-ˈsem-bəl How to pronounce dissemble (audio) \
dissembled; dissembling\ di-​ˈsem-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce dissemble (audio) \

Definition of dissemble

transitive verb

1 : to hide under a false appearance dissembling the facts
2 : to put on the appearance of : simulate She lay down and dissembled sleep.

intransitive verb

: to put on a false appearance : conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense He had dissembled about the risks involved.

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Other Words from dissemble

dissembler \ di-​ˈsem-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce dissemble (audio) \ noun

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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web That drew a memorable riposte from Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, who slyly suggested that the former vice president, with his long Senate experience, was no naif about Netanyahu’s ability to dissemble. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "What a Biden win means for Israel’s vehemently pro-Trump prime minister," 19 Nov. 2020 The doctors attending him are public servants and shouldn’t dissemble or strategize when answering questions that citizens are entitled to ask. Star Tribune, "Trump's illness should unite the country in fighting coronavirus," 7 Oct. 2020 The Ebay team allegedly continued to dissemble, both to law enforcement and to Ebay’s own lawyers, who by August 26 had begun to conduct their own interviews about the matter. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Ex-Ebay Execs Allegedly Made Life Hell for Critics," 15 June 2020 And when Denise becomes Georges’ eager collaborator and chief financier, Haenel’s flinty-eyed intelligence becomes a vital counterpoint to Dujardin’s dissembling idiocy. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Deerskin’ is an entrancingly warped love story between a man and his jacket," 30 Apr. 2020 That was rich coming from a U.S. regime that refused to stop strangling the Iranian economy out of pure spiteful malice and whose own response has been defined by dissembling and delay. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The U.S. coronavirus outbreak is going to be worse than Iran's," 27 Mar. 2020 Everything so far has been dissembling, denial, pointing the finger somewhere else. Washington Post, "CEO will tell Congress that Boeing made mistakes on Max jet," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dissemble.' 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 dissemble

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dissemble

Middle English dissymblen, alteration of dissimulen, from Middle French dissimuler, from Latin dissimulare — more at dissimulate

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Time Traveler for dissemble

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The first known use of dissemble was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dissemble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissemble. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dissemble

dissemble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dissemble

formal + literary : to hide your true feelings, opinions, etc.

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