mask

noun
\ ˈmask How to pronounce mask (audio) \

Definition of mask

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise
(2) : a person wearing a mask : masker
b(1) : a figure of a head worn on the stage in antiquity to identify the character and project the voice
(2) : a grotesque false face worn at carnivals or in rituals
c : an often grotesque carved head or face used as an ornament (as on a keystone)
d : a sculptured face or a copy of a face made by means of a mold
2a : something that serves to conceal or disguise : pretense, cloak aware of the masks, facades and defenses people erect to protect themselves— Kenneth Keniston
b : something that conceals from view
c : a translucent or opaque screen to cover part of the sensitive surface in taking or printing a photograph
d : a pattern of opaque material used to shield selected areas of a surface (as of a semiconductor) in deposition or etching (as in producing an integrated circuit)
3a : a protective covering for the face
b : gas mask
c : a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation
d : a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material
e : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries
4a : the head or face of an animal (such as a fox or dog)
b : an area (such as the one around the eyes) of an animal's face that is distinguished by usually darker coloring

mask

verb
masked; masking; masks

Definition of mask (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to take part in a masquerade
2a : to assume a mask
b : to disguise one's true character or intentions

transitive verb

1 : to provide or conceal with a mask: such as
a : to conceal from view mask a gun battery
b : to make indistinct or imperceptible masks undesirable flavors
c : to cover up masked his real purpose
2 : to cover for protection
3 : to modify the size or shape of (something, such as a photograph) by means of an opaque border

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Other Words from mask

Verb

masklike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce masklike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mask

Synonyms: Noun

vizard

Synonyms: Verb

camouflage, cloak, disguise, dress up

Antonyms: Verb

unmask

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Choose the Right Synonym for mask

Verb

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 mask in a Sentence

Noun

Everyone wore costumes and masks to the dance. Doctors wear surgical masks in the operating room.

Verb

The house was masked by trees. They tried to mask their real purpose. She tried using perfume to mask the bad odor.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, if it's used as a hair mask. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Exactly How to Use Coconut Oil for Your Hair, According to Experts," 22 Feb. 2019 She's even shared a DIY recipe for a hair mask, and used affordable everyday ingredients to increase her shine. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Got Cozy in a Face Mask and Kylie Cosmetics’s Instagram Lip Kit Filter," 6 Dec. 2018 The priests would remove it to be fashioned into a mask and placed in an offering, or use mortar to add it to two towers of skulls that flanked the tzompantli. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 Finegar said one video shows a man, who did not match her client’s description, seen pulling up what appears to be a mask. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Judge denies motion to dismiss Keith Davis Jr. case after state did not disclose surveillance videos," 18 June 2018 In another room, Nora, 9, uses a hot glue gun to put finishing touches on a glittery mask. Lauren Lumpkin, Washington Post, "They’re the Brainstorming Smarties, and they have their work down to a science," 20 May 2018 Some do it by taking on a public mask that's completely different from their private self. John Blake, CNN, "He was called a 'guardian angel.' Then they discovered he was something else," 12 May 2018 And after removing my mask, the effect was tremend-ASS. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "I Tried Butt Masks, and My Booty May Never Be The Same," 22 Feb. 2019 Danny Clark, who plays Dr. Skinner, made his own mask from leather, safety pins, nails, screws, liquid latex and fake blood. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "New Immersive Haunted Houses Mean More Thrills for Guests—More Rules for Zombies," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Including phases where the moon is partially masked, the event will last nearly four hours total. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Shroud the Moon This Month," 2 July 2018 He was punted on the opening lap at Long Beach and collided with Jordan King on Lap 1 of the IndyCar Grand Prix, but there’s no masking the fact that Pagenaud is in a road and street course rut. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "If the shoe doesn't fit: Simon Pagenaud still searching for comfort zone in new Indy cars," 22 June 2018 An interventional pain specialist, Prunskis said the institute has been vocal in the need to diagnose the source of pain in order to treat it and to limit the use of opioids, which can mask a pain’s source. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin-based doctor specializing in pain treatment part of federal task force on opioid abuse," 8 June 2018 Researchers at Emory University found that a common type of resistant bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, can mask resistance to colistin. Matthew Wellington, STAT, "Lawmakers must act on limiting antibiotic use in food animals," 19 Mar. 2018 Again, though, the focus on this metric can mask problems that have a high impact on a small number of users. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 October 2018 Update is back, this time without deleting your data," 13 Nov. 2018 The practice stands in contrast to traditional budgeting techniques that rely on historical spending patterns to determine future allocations, a tactic that can mask the true needs and spending of business segments, if not managed properly. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Zero-Based Budgeting Stars in Walgreens’ Cost-Cutting Push," 21 Dec. 2018 Moser and the Prithams decided to strip away the plaster surface that masked these original structural beams. Joanna Bober, ELLE Decor, "Country Fresh," 5 July 2012 That move has been widely interpreted as a sign that Apple foresees further declines in iPhone sales and is trying to mask that. Matt O'brien, The Seattle Times, "Apple’s stock sours, Microsoft’s soars. Say what?!," 27 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

circa 1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1579, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for mask

Noun

Middle French masque, from Old Italian maschera

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Learn More about mask

Dictionary Entries near mask

Masinissa

Masisi

masjid

mask

Maskawa

mask crab

masked

Statistics for mask

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mask

The first known use of mask was circa 1533

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More Definitions for mask

mask

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mask

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a covering used to hide or disguise your face
: a covering used to protect your face or cover your mouth
: a way of appearing or behaving that is not true or real

mask

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mask (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hide (something) from sight
: to keep (something) from being known or noticed

mask

noun
\ ˈmask How to pronounce mask (audio) \

Kids Definition of mask

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cover for the face or part of the face used for disguise or protection a Halloween mask a catcher's mask
2 : something that disguises or conceals She visited under a mask of friendship.

mask

verb
masked; masking

Kids Definition of mask (Entry 2 of 2)

: conceal, disguise She found it difficult to mask her anger.

mask

noun
\ ˈmask How to pronounce mask (audio) \

Medical Definition of mask

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a protective covering for the face
2a : any of various devices that cover the mouth and nose and are used to prevent inhalation of dangerous substances, to facilitate delivery of a gas (as oxygen or a general anesthetic), or to prevent the dispersal of exhaled infective material — see gas mask, oxygen mask
3 : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries

Medical Definition of mask (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to prevent (an atom or group of atoms) from showing its ordinary reactions to mask hydroxyl in a sugar by converting it into methoxyl
2 : to modify or reduce the effect or activity of (as a process or a reaction)
3 : to make indistinct or imperceptible flavorings used in pharmacy to mask the taste of medications
4 : to raise the audibility threshold of (a sound) by the simultaneous presentation of another sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on mask

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mask

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mask

Spanish Central: Translation of mask

Nglish: Translation of mask for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mask for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mask

Comments on mask

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