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 infectious material
e or less commonly masque : 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 \ ˈmask-​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

The sheet mask with an A-list following (Gigi Hadid and Gwyneth Paltrow are fans), SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($23.35; amazon.com) isn't cheap, but might be worth the splurge. Nikhita Mahtani, CNN Underscored, "10 top-rated sheet masks you can buy on Amazon right now," 11 Sep. 2019 Police used officers on bikes and in riot gear to keep black-clad, helmet- and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters — known as antifa — from following them. Gillian Flaccus, The Denver Post, "At least 13 people arrested at Portland, Oregon, protest," 17 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, black-clad, helmet and mask-wearing Antifa members were also among the several hundred people on the streets. Fox News, "Portland mayor praises police after 'largely peaceful' day of far-right, far-left demonstrations," 17 Aug. 2019 Police used officers on bikes and in riot gear to keep black-clad, helmet- and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters — known as antifa — from following them. Gillian Flaccus, chicagotribune.com, "Police arrest at least 13 people and seize metal poles, bear spray as right-wing groups and counter-protesters swarm downtown Portland," 17 Aug. 2019 Police used officers on bikes and in riot gear to keep black-clad, helmet- and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters — known as antifa — from following them. Gillian Flaccus, Twin Cities, "At least 13 people arrested at Portland protest," 17 Aug. 2019 Costume designer Marina Toybina previously told EW one of her goals for the new season was to make sure the costumes had more mobility and the masks were easier to see through. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "The Masked Singer season 2 promo shows crazy look at new contestants," 14 Aug. 2019 After patting her skin dry, the model applies a foil sheet mask from Estee Lauder. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Model Lais Ribeiro's Nighttime Skincare Routine," 8 Aug. 2019 The Korean beauty care segment grew popular with sheet masks, which saw instant recognition among consumers. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Flipkart says Indians are adding Korean beauty products to their carts like never before," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The new policies are aimed at curbing political advertisers' attempts to mask their identities or impersonate others. Brian Fung, CNN, "Facebook rolls out stricter political ad rules ahead of 2020," 28 Aug. 2019 There is Vicodin and other addictive opioids to mask pain. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Just because Andrew Luck does superhuman things doesn’t mean he’s not human," 26 Aug. 2019 The group quickly changed its name to a string of nonsense characters, 'asdgrfhtyjujtrgefgrefgrtyuafw,' to mask its origins. Dan Patterson, CBS News, "8chan users are moving to Discord, where your kids are playing video games," 26 Aug. 2019 What appear, at first, to be sequences of several minutes are revealed, upon closer observation, to be short clips in repeating loops, cross-faded to mask any glitches in the matrix. Sarah Rose Sharp, cleveland.com, "Attention Must Be Paid: ‘Intercepted’ moments at H-Space," 25 Aug. 2019 They were also seen as way to mask socioeconomic disparities. Washington Post, "School uniforms are on the rise — even for toddlers — and it’s changing back-to-school shopping," 21 Aug. 2019 Sandoval received a cortisone shot in his elbow and a MRI on Sunday, but the injection did little to mask the persistent pain and inflammation the switch-hitting infielder is forced to deal with. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Pablo Sandoval’s elbow injury a crushing blow to Giants team that needs his energy," 14 Aug. 2019 Where conservatives in the past have employed dog whistle rhetoric to mask the manipulation of racial tensions, Trump’s itchy Twitter fingers dole out something more like smart missile rhetoric. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Destructive Politics of White Amnesia," 6 Aug. 2019 Black materialism appeals to fashion to mask insecurity. Joshua Burrell, baltimoresun.com, "Joshua Burrell: Growing up black in Columbia," 1 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 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 infectious 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

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