dissemble

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

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 \-​b(ə-​)lər \ 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

Under those faintly menacing tendrils, people change, become furtive, dissembling, with it, rotten as the jungles whence come the plants. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "SF’s Interval puts the fern bar on a cocktail menu," 20 June 2018 Anna hemmed and hawed and dissembled and prevaricated and, as the women got increasingly angry, allowed two fat tears to roll down her cheeks. Jessica Pressler, The Cut, "Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It," 28 May 2018 The panels of beef emerge beautifully tender, the connecting stitches of fat visible to the eye but dissembling immediately on the tongue. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Ho Foods, a Noodle Soup That Nourishes and Transports," 19 Apr. 2018 Each read the other’s blundering and dissembling as intentional, deepening suspicions among hard-liners that the other side was laying the groundwork for war. Max Fisher, The Seattle Times, "Hawaii false alarm hints at thin line between mishap and nuclear war," 14 Jan. 2018 Unhealthy dynamics promote dissembling where directness serves us best, unfortunately. Carolyn Hax, idahostatesman, "Don’t forbid your sisters from dating your friends," 22 Jan. 2018 Unhealthy dynamics promote dissembling where directness serves us best, unfortunately. Carolyn Hax, idahostatesman, "Don’t forbid your sisters from dating your friends," 22 Jan. 2018 Before fixing, explaining, interpreting, dissembling, or devil’s advocating. Ronnie Polaneczky, Philly.com, "What are men for? Here's one idea | Ronnie Polaneczky," 9 Mar. 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for dissemble

dissemble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dissemble

: to hide your true feelings, opinions, etc.

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