Definition of camouflage in US English:

camouflage

noun

  • 1The disguising of military personnel, equipment, and installations by painting or covering them to make them blend in with their surroundings.

    ‘on the trenches were pieces of turf which served for camouflage’
    as modifier ‘camouflage nets’
    • ‘It managed a multitude of critical supply requirements, including desert camouflage uniforms and body armor for deploying soldiers.’
    • ‘Jackson had since met a woman from his wilderness group and they tied the knot in camouflage military fatigues.’
    • ‘A smaller man, also wearing the military camouflage stood up from his chair.’
    • ‘At each test site the observers were asked to select the one camouflage uniform that blended best with the surrounding urban background.’
    • ‘Adding a sense of combat reality to the classroom are sandbags, camouflage netting, and the sounds of exploding ordnance and close air support.’
    • ‘Ubiquitous technologies for encryption, passive measures like camouflage, and low-tech countermeasures will see to that.’
    • ‘It could even replace the traditional green-and-brown camouflage splotches used on military equipment since the First World War.’
    • ‘Imagine the military applications of dynamic camouflage clothing.’
    • ‘The camouflage Humvees were on every corner topped by national guardsmen.’
    • ‘The use of modern combat hardware and equipment sets higher standards for camouflage, concealment, and deception.’
    • ‘By 1918, the use of military camouflage was axiomatic, and in 1939 war artists were again mobilized to advise on concealment.’
    • ‘He was wearing military style fatigues including camouflage trousers tucked into brown boots.’
    • ‘Groups in other schools made camouflage nets, raised funds through the Red Cross and knitted for the men in the Forces.’
    • ‘Other camouflage accessories include camo tape and other items that will help hide a shotgun.’
    • ‘It was also effective in stripping camouflage from concealed bunkers.’
    • ‘The need to fire 360 degrees may also limit the use of camouflage nets.’
    • ‘It's a house covered in camouflage netting so people can't see what you're doing inside.’
    • ‘New ideas are often slow to catch on in the military, and digital camouflage was one of them.’
    • ‘By relying on camouflage, the military resort to the same artifice that enables many prey animals to enhance their chances of survival by minimizing detectability.’
    • ‘These special camouflage nets were very specialised pieces of equipment.’
    disguise, concealment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The clothing or materials used for disguise.
      ‘figures dressed in army camouflage’
      • ‘Following her was a man, also dressed in desert camouflage.’
      • ‘With his khaki camouflage and ID card pinned to his trousers he was indistinguishable, without closer inspection, from any soldier in the complex.’
      • ‘There are too many hunters with guns wearing camouflage and Red Sox hats.’
      • ‘He dressed in green camouflage which did the job at the time.’
      • ‘I squint up at the buff man dressed completely in camouflage and raise an eyebrow.’
      • ‘Two giants appeared from a nearby army barracks in camouflage and studded helmets.’
      • ‘I took note of their dark camouflage and shiny boots.’
      • ‘Woolrich offers both camouflage and traditional hunting clothing for turkey hunters.’
      • ‘As a reporter, Adie was often dressed in camouflage, wrestling with the practical problems of being a woman in the world of war.’
      • ‘The U.S. soldiers, dressed in Kevlar vests and desert tan camouflage, were drenched with sweat.’
      • ‘I realize that I'm not the most trendy person around but what is up with dressing children in camouflage?’
      • ‘Beyond choosing their clothing and helmet, they can also pick their camouflage.’
      • ‘Tony swapped his suit for camouflage when he tackled a gruelling Army challenge.’
      • ‘The Greek soldiers clunk around set with combat boots, camouflage, and sub-machine guns.’
      • ‘Dressed in camouflage, gripping his .357 caliber Magnum, Demar was primed to shoot.’
      • ‘Still, it thrills me that friends of mine are there as we speak, slogging around in the bayous, waiting, listening silently behind veils of camouflage.’
      • ‘‘I am helping you,’ a man dressed in camouflage told a crying girl.’
      • ‘She was dressed in green camouflage and waving a banner that Ford couldn't read, since it was backwards.’
      • ‘The soldiers were in camouflage, with baseball caps and black backpacks, and were armed with rifles.’
      • ‘Call me an ignorant Trinidadian, but I never knew it was against the law to wear or own any camouflage or camouflage-resembling clothing in this country.’
    2. 1.2 An animal's natural coloring or form that enables it to blend in with its surroundings.
      ‘the whiteness of polar bears provides camouflage’
      • ‘Big animals don't need camouflage, because they're big - they're dangerous.’
      • ‘Bitterns are virtually invisible as their plumage provides perfect camouflage.’
      • ‘The countershading of bat rays, a form of camouflage, protects them from predators above and below.’
      • ‘It is possible that under certain light conditions they provide camouflage.’
      • ‘In its natural environment its mottled colouring provides camouflage.’
      • ‘Participants will also find out how animals use camouflage.’
      • ‘The patterned coats of sleeping wild dogs are easily mistaken for dead logs, elephant dung and fallen mopane leaves, providing them with perfect camouflage in their favourite habitat.’
      • ‘In nature, most markings on herd animals are intended as camouflage to protect them from being seen by predators.’
      • ‘There was weak support for spots in adults and stripes in young providing camouflage and for dark leg markings being a form of disruptive coloration.’
      • ‘Thus plumage soiling not only provides instant camouflage but, unlike molting, is easily reversible.’
      • ‘These, in addition to its natural camouflage, discourage other organisms from feeding on it.’
      • ‘It tends to be seen sitting on barnacle-covered rocks, in only a few feet of water, where its mottled pale brown and green colouring provides excellent camouflage.’
      • ‘Among some ground-nesting waterbirds, such as gulls and plovers, research has shown that speckling aids egg camouflage.’
      • ‘One of the most widespread and varied adaptations is natural camouflage, an animal's ability to hide itself from predator and prey.’
      • ‘Natural camouflage is one of nature's most interesting traits.’
      • ‘The effectiveness of the female's spring camouflage is as uncanny as that of her white plumage in winter.’
      • ‘This coloration, typical of many marine mammals, provides camouflage.’
      • ‘The natural camouflage often found on the bodies of snakes is shown through the use of painted diamonds and triangles that appear throughout the length of the body.’
      • ‘This may have served the purpose of camouflage, making the animal more inconspicuous.’
      • ‘The trevally uses camouflage for added protection from predators.’
      protective colouring
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Actions or devices intended to disguise or mislead.
      ‘much of my apparent indifference was merely protective camouflage’
      • ‘The hijackers kept these accounts in their own names with no attempt at camouflage.’
      • ‘It was the seedy part of town that hides behind a modern estate that has been cleverly built in front of it as camouflage.’
      • ‘Bara also warned that such a hasty accusation could prompt a perception among the public that it is merely camouflage for the real masterminds of the bombings.’
      • ‘Detailed centralised supervision and inspection is a recipe for decline which official statistics merely camouflage.’
      • ‘They're complete masters of camouflage and deception.’
      facade, front, false front, smokescreen, cover-up, disguise, mask, cloak, blind, screen, masquerade, concealment, dissimulation, pretence
      View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • 1Hide or disguise the presence of (a person, animal, or object) by means of camouflage.

    ‘the war area had to be camouflaged with mud’
    • ‘This camouflages the fact that you don't know which end of the stick is sharp.’
    • ‘The students were also able to see how different marine animals defend themselves against predators through camouflaging themselves with their environment.’
    • ‘The nymphs are not as brightly colored as the adults, but are well camouflaged predators who ambush their prey.’
    • ‘But this was a semantic masterpiece in camouflaging his own feelings.’
    • ‘I spent a half hour staring at a lizard that had camouflaged itself on some bark.’
    • ‘Her nakedness, though, is well camouflaged by a veil of long curly hair falling on her shoulders.’
    • ‘Even if the floor covering camouflages the stain, damage still is being done.’
    • ‘Carle's trademark artwork is enhanced by acetate overlays behind which the fish are camouflaged in an effect that is very beautiful.’
    • ‘This also defeats the purpose of camouflaging your technology.’
    • ‘Throwing sand over the eggs and camouflaging the nest takes up another hour.’
    • ‘That one is much heavier and is doing the worse job at camouflaging its presence.’
    • ‘He is currently trying to discover if rumours that the Eli Lilly factory was camouflaged during World War Two are true.’
    • ‘He continued to grumble as he covered the boat, camouflaging it.’
    • ‘During the Second World War the Lamb factory made components for war planes, and was camouflaged against enemy air attack.’
    • ‘Coloration varies, but is normally a brownish mud-color that camouflages these fish in their natural habitats.’
    • ‘Any small triplefin that ventured too close to these camouflaged predators met a quick end in their cavernous mouths.’
    • ‘I also had a tiny smudge, rather than a bruise, on the left of my forehead, which was easily camouflaged by make-up and a fringe.’
    • ‘The key to camouflaging your bra is to wear one that's a similar shade to your skin tone.’
    • ‘Late in the afternoon, just as Barbara finishes camouflaging her last trap, we hear the yowl of another snowmobile ascending the valley.’
    • ‘The Ghost crabs are named for their translucent bodies, and they are well camouflaged against the sand.’
    disguise, hide, conceal, keep hidden, mask, screen, veil, cloak, cover, cover up, obscure, shroud
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Conceal the existence of (something undesirable)
      ‘grievances should be discussed, not camouflaged’
      • ‘These profit pressures were camouflaged during the 1990s stock market boom, which largely collapsed at the end of the decade.’
      • ‘Tapes, no matter how well-produced, are a fake, and in many cases are used to camouflage the inadequacies of those performing to them.’
      • ‘Lumping all transition economies into the same academic pot has camouflaged important differences.’
      • ‘This willingness to see formally accomplished prose as a means to camouflage empty thought is disconcerting.’
      • ‘He camouflaged his fundamentally conservative policies in liberalish rhetoric.’
      • ‘That's just another way of saying they'll camouflage their failure to generate sales behind an intellectual smoke screen.’
      • ‘However, the official statistics only serve to camouflage the real death toll, which some unofficial estimates put at almost twice the reported level.’
      • ‘Because the poverty was somewhat camouflaged by the tropical climate, metropolitan visitors tended to disregard it.’
      • ‘His classy batting can camouflage tardiness in the field.’
      • ‘He managed to stay out of the gutter, his contempt of the frailties of his colleagues barely camouflaged.’
      • ‘The difficulty of replacing him, camouflaged by the successful run at home, has undermined his side's European travels.’
      • ‘Drinking is commonplace in our culture, so you shouldn't find it hard to camouflage the limits of your infatuation.’
      • ‘The red card debate, or rather lack of one, couldn't camouflage the austere dinginess that had preceded it.’
      • ‘And however much he tried to camouflage his words, time is not on his side to turn things round.’
      • ‘Last season, Celtic's tendency to leak goals, particularly on their travels, was at least camouflaged by the fact that they were scoring them.’
      • ‘He attempts to camouflage these holes with unproven conjecture.’
      • ‘Her gift for profanity does not a thing to camouflage her upper-class upbringing.’
      • ‘He has also claimed that children with severe dental problems are also being removed from waiting lists to camouflage the extent of the problem.’
      • ‘Of course, the administration deserves to be criticized for its crude attempts to camouflage the painful reality of the occupation.’
      • ‘My personal skill was camouflaging my abilities with a deficiency.’

Origin

Late 19th century (in sense ‘disguise, concealment’): French, from camoufler ‘to disguise’ (originally thieves' slang), from Italian camuffare ‘disguise, deceive’, perhaps by association with French camouflet ‘whiff of smoke in the face’. The military sense originated during the First World War.

Pronunciation

camouflage

/ˈkæməˌflɑ(d)ʒ//ˈkaməˌflä(d)ZH/