1 : to hide under a false appearance
2 : to put on the appearance of : simulate
3 : to put on a false appearance : to conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense
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 ("The prince disguised himself as a peasant"). Cloak suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention ("The military operation was cloaked in secrecy"). Mask suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something ("The customer smiled to mask her discontent"). Dissemble (from Latin dissimulare, meaning "to disguise 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.
"The front room of the gallery will feature the artist's new work presented in large scale and a salon style arrangement of miniature vignettes that dissemble various elements of his inhabited landscapes." — The Register-Star (Hudson, New York), 14 Nov. 2019
"She nodded again, and her eyes closed. It was very pleasant to Darrow that she made no effort to talk or to dissemble her sleepiness. He sat watching her till the upper lashes met and mingled with the lower, and their blent shadow lay on her cheek; then he stood up and drew the curtain over the lamp, drowning the compartment in a bluish twilight." — Edith Wharton, The Reef, 1912
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