Synonyms & Antonyms of disguise

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 clothing put on to hide one's true identity or imitate someone or something else
  • Mardi Gras revelers dressed in a colorful array of outlandish disguises

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2 a display of emotion or behavior that is insincere or intended to deceive
  • somehow, he managed to put on a disguise of happiness as he watched his secret crush marry someone else

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Synonyms & Antonyms of disguise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to change the dress or looks of so as to conceal true identity
  • the spies disguised themselves as harmless tourists

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2 to keep secret or shut off from view
  • that investigative reporter usually does a good job of disguising her true motives for interviewing a person

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Frequently Asked Questions About disguise

How does the verb disguise differ from other similar words?

The words cloak and mask are common synonyms of disguise. While all three words 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

When is cloak a more appropriate choice than disguise?

The words cloak and disguise are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, cloak suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention.

cloaked their maneuvers in secrecy

When might mask be a better fit than disguise?

The synonyms mask and disguise are sometimes interchangeable, but mask suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something.

smiling to mask his discontent

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Time Traveler for disguise

Time Traveler

The first known use of disguise was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Disguise.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disguise

Dictionary: Definition of disguise

Nglish: Translation of disguise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disguise for Arabic Speakers

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