Definition of masquerade in English:



  • 1A false show or pretence.

    ‘I doubt he could have kept up the masquerade for long’
    • ‘Later in the novel, Clara performs a masquerade in reverse, pretending to be a governess while she is still working as a servant.’
    • ‘There are some journalists and war reporters who, despite years of experience, are very opinionated and whose masquerade of objectivity is easy to see through.’
    • ‘It is unlikely we will soon return to a masquerade of can-can supported grandeur and today's parade music must bow to that reality-not the other way around.’
    • ‘Some drawings are barely colored at all, others more fully, but one invariably feels that the artist is engaged in a masquerade of his own, pretending to be a child grown impatient with rules.’
    • ‘Dr Watson was seldom in danger of seeing through any of these masquerades.’
    • ‘Someone call the Washington Times and alert them to this sly wolfish masquerade!’
    • ‘Subsequently, the duke joins in on the masquerade, play-acting the threat of sexual violence - a rehearsal for his actions later in the film.’
    • ‘Everday life is almost solely composed of a series of ritualized masquerades.’
    • ‘But still, ever since I began this masquerade, I had tried to change everything.’
    • ‘If only this was just a Shakespearean farce and we could snigger at the gross stupidity of the characters portrayed and their ridiculous masquerades, but shamefully it is real and we are obliged to see it through to the end.’
    • ‘This belief makes each of the parties put up the masquerade up to the very end in the hope that once the prize is won, they would be able to jettison the other parties.’
    • ‘On the one hand, looking within from without causes her to adopt and discard various socially approved feminine masquerades whilst her ‘real’ self remains in hiding.’
    • ‘As masquerades start to unravel and tanks roll into town Charlotte is forced to decide whose safety matters most.’
    • ‘I had to think of a way to end this masquerade, but a crowd had formed to watch and I didn't want to break up something that could be considered cool.’
    • ‘The mainly young protesters, many in their teens, defied the security forces' assaults and chanted slogans against the upcoming presidential elections, calling it a masquerade.’
    • ‘Now, though, unable to be true to himself, his painting too became a masquerade.’
    pretence, deception, pose, act, front, facade, disguise, dissimulation, cover-up, bluff, subterfuge, play-acting, make-believe
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    1. 1.1[mass noun]The wearing of disguise.
      ‘dressing up, role playing, and masquerade’
      • ‘This distance functions like a mask or masquerade, revealing more than it hides.’
      • ‘These drawings and models were juxtaposed with photographs of adult masquerade performances and examples of the masks themselves.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, because we are accustomed to the roles each actor usually performs, we become acutely aware that we are witnessing a performance, or masquerade.’
      • ‘He upheld a New York State statute prohibiting the wearing of masks or facial disguises in public, other than for masquerade or similar entertainment purposes.’
      • ‘Rather, it presented and discussed children's masquerade in Africa, a subject little explored but much witnessed by scholars studying African cultures.’
      • ‘Over her long and varied career, she has used masquerade, performance and role-playing to extend the frontiers of her own identity.’
      • ‘The film explores this realm through a complex narrative use of masks and masquerade.’
      • ‘Carnival Messiah has 100 performers from the worlds of theatre, opera, dance and masquerade, some international, others local.’
      • ‘Hasn't anyone besides me noticed the flavor of masquerade and carnivalesque fantasy in Joan's behavior?’
      • ‘Here is combined a long deep legacy of dress-up for masquerade, for carnival, for possession by the Gods combined with personal creativity and ingenuity.’
      • ‘Or, how can one study a masquerade without discussing the physical mask, the apparent centerpiece of any masquerade?’
      • ‘Pope Joan's description of the impromptu birth of her child, while the female pope was still in mannish masquerade, is a guaranteed conversation stopper.’
      • ‘Traditional African masquerade, dating back to the era before emancipation, used rags, paint, and spears to portray an image of a miserable, uncivilised past.’
      • ‘Approximately fifty masquerade types appeared in the 1993 festival.’
      • ‘This reverse process can make these viewers unknowingly complicit with their own duping through artfully crafted masquerade.’
      • ‘Some were dressed in costumes made from animal heads or fur - the origin of the contemporary Halloween masquerade.’
    2. 1.2North American A masked ball.
      • ‘I can't believe that you managed to get him to escort you to this masquerade.’
      • ‘The masquerade starts after dinner from 9: 10 pm and will last into the early hours.’
      • ‘It is a site devoted to this musical masquerade.’
      • ‘The best part was to be the New Year's eve masquerade.’
      • ‘The cost is 1,000 yuan for dinner and masquerade, 500 yuan for masquerade only.’
      masked ball, masque, fancy-dress party
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  • 1 Pretend to be someone one is not.

    ‘a journalist masquerading as a man in distress’
    • ‘A man working in the Post Office turns out to be a special agent with the skill to uncover aliens masquerading as humans.’
    • ‘The ambitious teenager masquerades as pilot, doctor and lawyer while mainlining in embezzlement.’
    • ‘I was certainly startled by the two people I saw masquerading as my parents.’
    • ‘When he masquerades as someone else, he is just a fake.’
    • ‘The rumours that this weblog is secretly written by a teenage prostitute masquerading as a 37 year old comedian are greatly exaggerated.’
    • ‘Is this or isn't this a secret release from James masquerading under a different name?’
    • ‘It's just a criminal gang masquerading as Loyalists.’
    • ‘After the usual anti-war stuff, he complains that ‘He is a Tory masquerading as a Labour politician’.’
    • ‘And now many suspicious minds have concluded there is more than one person masquerading as the King.’
    • ‘He masquerades as a bounty hunter and joins a small group of actors traveling to the King's palace to entertain the King, meeting the leader of the group, a charismatic young man with a taste for danger and beautiful women.’
    • ‘In the first, they chatted simultaneously with a woman and with a man masquerading as a woman, in an effort to spot the real woman.’
    • ‘The protagonists aren't rich characters masquerading as poor.’
    • ‘A woman masquerades as a doctor, but is stalking a male staff member as part of a delusion of erotomania.’
    • ‘There are many people that go around masquerading as boxing fans.’
    • ‘Someone could come across border masquerading as a border patrol agent.’
    • ‘Lighthearted and serious at the same time, the story tells of a ruler who masquerades as a lowly sty-warden to observe what the community's various members do for the good of the whole.’
    pretend to be, pose as, pass oneself off as, impersonate, disguise oneself as, simulate, profess to be
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    1. 1.1Be disguised or passed off as something else.
      ‘idle gossip that masquerades as news’
      • ‘And because it masquerades as news, we naturally let our guard down, invoking a built in trust of that which is media establishment.’
      • ‘It has become a business masquerading as a sport.’
      • ‘We need to speak out against intolerance that masquerades as tolerance.’
      • ‘Badly acted, written and directed, it is nothing more than a dirty movie masquerading as a character study.’
      • ‘It is just that, at this level, if you are serious about winning, you need to be ruthless when presented with anything vaguely masquerading as a chance.’
      • ‘The lesson is dishonest in that it masquerades as science while including misrepresentations and factual errors.’
      • ‘This is a fully fledged computer masquerading as a gaming gadget, and - as you can tell from the price - it is aimed not at children, but overgrown kids.’
      • ‘There I was, patiently reading through Chapter Thirty, when I reached something that was masquerading as the end.’
      • ‘Is it a personality flaw masquerading as a political philosophy?’
      • ‘All such hopes have turned to ashes as we now contemplate this sad, trouble-plagued, expensive tram system masquerading as a public service.’
      • ‘In reality, this is a gorgeous dessert masquerading as health food.’
      • ‘One of e-mail's drawbacks is that it masquerades as communication when it is best used for informing, broadcasting, or scheduling.’
      • ‘The outbreak of a mass emailing worm, which masquerades as a matchmaking program, has been brought under control.’
      • ‘But the slogan of freedom masquerading as moral clarity is quite another.’
      • ‘A modern reproduction that masquerades as brass it may be, but still it is beautiful.’
      • ‘I submit that it is only a game masquerading as an athletic event.’
      • ‘At one point as I was wading through gravy, gristle and fat that was masquerading as lamb cutlets, I thought I found a prime piece of meat.’
      • ‘I popped into the new coffee shop I spoke of a few days back and was served with a highly mediocre cup of sludgy end-of-day coffee masquerading as an Americano.’
      • ‘She ended up working for a business that masquerades as a charity.’
      • ‘Don't tell me this is masquerading under the guise of some kind of tribute.’


Late 16th century: from French mascarade, from Italian mascherata, from maschera mask.