: a form or style of dress : costume
attended the masquerade in the guise of a court jester
obsolete : manner, fashion
archaic : a customary way of speaking or behaving
: external appearance : semblance
The android is a machine in human guise.
: pretext
swindles people under the guise of friendship

Examples of guise in a Sentence

he sneaked into the castle to rescue Ivanhoe in the guise of a priest coming to give Ivanhoe his last rites she felt as though she should be wearing some sort of Germanic guise, complete with dirndl, for the fall festival featuring traditional German food and drink
Recent Examples on the Web Two figures in the show, Von and Henry, materialize in multiple guises, demonstrating the transformativeness of persona construction and the depth of what may lie beyond the surface. Colleen Kelsey, CNN, 22 Mar. 2024 However, Asha soon finds that Magnifico is stealing the wishes from his people, under the benevolent guise of freeing everyone from their chief desires. Valerie Wu, Variety, 18 Mar. 2024 The company has been operating in a variety of guises within the digital health and nutrition space since 2010 but, in recent years, has found itself in a position to benefit from a number of rule changes and socio-political trends. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Several actors donned the iconic guise of Ghostface in the Scream franchise, but one of the most intriguing is Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) in the original film. Steven Thrash,, 19 Oct. 2023 Another possibility is that men adopted the guise as a means of courtship. Susan Portnoy, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024 However, promoters have seized on the complexities of trusts, packaging and marketing various types of trust arrangements to unsuspecting taxpayers under the guise that using their specific trust will eliminate or defer federal income taxes. Matthew Roberts, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 In recent years, the use of AI in public spaces to detect people’s behaviors, movements, or identities has increased—often through the guise of smart city approaches. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 8 Feb. 2024 Even the look on her face alters, a flat guise replaced by a scowl. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English gise, guise, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wīsa manner — more at wise

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of guise was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near guise

Cite this Entry

“Guise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a form or style of dress : costume
in the guise of a shepherd
: outer or disguised appearance : semblance
swindled people under the guise of friendship

Biographical Definition

Guise 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

ˈgwēz How to pronounce Guise (audio)
2nd Duc de 1519–1563 François de Lorraine French soldier and politician


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

3rd Duc de 1550–1588 Henri I de Lorraine French soldier and politician

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