Definition of disguise in US English:

disguise

verb

[with object]
  • 1Give (someone or oneself) a different appearance in order to conceal one's identity.

    ‘we took elaborate measures to disguised ourselves as locals’
    ‘Brian was disguised as a priest’
    • ‘She disguised herself as a peasant boy and romped in the marketplace, darting between the steam drums and the soup kettles.’
    • ‘When he decided to develop a navy, he disguised himself as a carpenter so that he might learn at first hand how ships should be built.’
    • ‘I disguised myself as a wizard, wearing a long cloak and holding a staff.’
    • ‘A handful of women disguised themselves as men and fought alongside male soldiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.’
    • ‘A few years back baseball caps were used to disguise someone's appearance.’
    • ‘Kathleen disguised herself as a man by having her long hair hidden beneath a cap and traveling dressed as a man.’
    • ‘She is supposed to have disguised herself as a pauper for a young priest who, out of charity, took her to an inn to feed her.’
    • ‘He said rebels had disguised themselves as traders attending the weekend market.’
    • ‘Police in turn disguised themselves as tourists, secretly videoing visitors as they moved round the exhibition site.’
    • ‘With her true identity safely disguised Liz began to play openly in the store.’
    • ‘He enlisted the help of a druidess, and disguised himself as a woman.’
    • ‘He disguised himself as a beggar and asked the opinions of some of the people in his city.’
    • ‘The magician disguised himself as a friendly merchant and paid the King and his family a visit.’
    • ‘He dressed up, disguising himself as a youth and joined them.’
    • ‘During the Civil War in America, unknown numbers of females disguised themselves as male soldiers.’
    • ‘In 1671 he and Maria disguised themselves as a parson and his wife. They visited the keeper of the jewels and Maria pretended to faint to cause a distraction.’
    • ‘This is why she has taken no money, and disguised herself as a working-class woman.’
    • ‘The enigmatic Duke then disguises himself as a priest in order to observe the events.’
    • ‘When she was younger, she had disguised herself as a boy to learn weaponry, and now she was skilled in using a short sword and a buckler.’
    • ‘In order to reach the river, they'd disguised themselves as servants.’
    in disguise, camouflaged, incognito, under cover
    dress oneself up as, pass oneself of as, pretend to be, impersonate, pose as
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    1. 1.1 Make (something) unrecognizable by altering its appearance, sound, taste, or smell.
      ‘does holding a handkerchief over the mouthpiece really disguise your voice?’
      • ‘The danger lies in alcopops, which are flavoured with things like cranberry or orange to disguise the taste of vodka.’
      • ‘Operators must not camouflage or disguise the cameras in a way that could lead to a public perception of ‘sly operations’.’
      • ‘The bootleg alcohol that was produced then, often called gut-rot, tasted so vile that the bartenders learned to mix the alcohol with fruit juices to disguise the taste.’
      • ‘He asked that we disguise his voice and face, afraid of retribution by those who run the criminal enterprise.’
      • ‘I bet there aren't many children who eat fish that isn't wrapped in batter and swamped in ketchup to disguise the fishy taste.’
      • ‘When we do see him eat out it is often at a Mexican take-out, where quantities of hot sauce disguise the taste.’
      • ‘A simple and effective form of disguising a voice is whispering.’
      • ‘Even the radio commentators had a hard time disguising their reviews to appear fair.’
      • ‘‘Great outfit,’ Joey said disguising his voice with scratchy sounds.’
      • ‘She disguised her voice to make it sound deeper and manlier, and with the wrap covering her mouth, it made it sound even more muffled.’
      • ‘Various coatings were devised to disguise any bitter or unpleasant taste, gold and silver being particularly valued.’
      • ‘A tincture is easier for children to take and it can be added to a little juice to disguise the taste.’
      • ‘It can make sweet things sweeter, it can disguise unpleasant tastes and smells and it is the most versatile food ingredient known to man.’
      • ‘What began as a cheap and easy way to disguise the taste of alcohol in prohibition America quickly became the drink of choice for the privileged fast set of the 1920s.’
      • ‘She didn't bother disguising her voice, for she was beyond caring.’
      • ‘The first wax to be used was animal fat which was boiled and strained till it turned to tallow and then had scents added to it to disguise the smell.’
      • ‘Once on the skin it creates a light-reflecting surface which disguises a grey complexion.’
      • ‘‘I could teach you to play the guitar,’ I said, unable to disguise the eager tone in my voice.’
      • ‘Culinary historians are divided over the use of sauces and marinades, but the conventional theory is that they were used to disguise the taste of ingredients past their primes.’
      • ‘This would have disguised the smell from dogs used by customs officials to check for drugs.’
      camouflage, conceal, hide, cover up, make inconspicuous, mask, screen, shroud, veil, cloak
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    2. 1.2 Conceal the nature or existence of (a feeling or situation)
      ‘he made no effort to disguise his contempt’
      • ‘Harry disguises the latent homosexual feelings he has for his best friend Ron, by having a string of one night stands with besotted girls in the year below him.’
      • ‘He made no effort to disguise his annoyance.’
      • ‘They didn't disguise any of their contempt for the ‘pathetic old bankrupt’ they considered him to be.’
      • ‘Feeling slightly humiliated, Anna folded her arms, sat back in her chair and pouted, making no effort to disguise her anger toward his put-down.’
      • ‘She joked about their religious frame of reference but could not disguise her deep cultural pride.’
      • ‘Ronnie jumped in eagerly, almost clasping her hands in poorly disguised relief.’
      • ‘Denying that or disguising that or hiding that love is very, very injurious to human beings.’
      • ‘He sat mute next to James, who also made no effort to disguise his own bad mood.’
      • ‘But his assurances do not disguise his very real fears.’
      • ‘I didn't make an effort to disguise my emotions or hide my tears, which were slowly beginning to fall.’
      • ‘The police made no more than a token effort to disguise their enthusiasm for the militia cause.’
      • ‘John, though unable to disguise the pleasure he had derived from his overall performance against the Barbarians, was the first to point out that he had been some way from flawless.’
      • ‘Elizabeth was always good at disguising her feelings and keeping herself under control.’
      • ‘She made no effort to disguise her contempt for them.’
      • ‘To describe its findings as a whitewash would be uncharitable to previous whitewashes, which at least made some effort to disguise their intent.’
      • ‘It disguised her feelings, her hopes, her wishes… but spilled them into words.’
      • ‘This blitz of ads sells superficial cosmetics as a mask to disguise the glaring self-deficiency felt by most people today.’
      • ‘It's very easy to tell a fun story which disguised my feelings about the most painful moment in my life.’
      • ‘In this battle of minds the most urgent task is to throw a spotlight on an organisation which has, for too long, been able to disguise its true totalitarian nature.’
      • ‘The judges make no effort to disguise their boredom.’
      camouflage, conceal, hide, cover up, make inconspicuous, mask, screen, shroud, veil, cloak
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1A means of altering one's appearance or concealing one's identity.

    ‘his bizarre disguise drew stares from fellow shoppers’
    • ‘But despite their many disguises, the two-person crew still managed to rouse suspicion.’
    • ‘He was looking for clever disguises so he can hide out without being noticed.’
    • ‘He also used his many disguises to fool local publicans.’
    • ‘At this time my father also became a master of disguises, taking on various identities when necessary for his mission.’
    • ‘When the war ended in 1918, he donned a disguise and fled temporarily into Switzerland.’
    • ‘However, the owner of a neighboring business says several months ago he asked if she could assist with makeup for disguises.’
    • ‘What's more, Clint wears a lot of disguises - he even he dresses up as a clown.’
    • ‘More clothes and disguises were needed, debts also needed to be repaid, and tracks covered.’
    • ‘At other times, their superheroic identities are kept secret, hidden beneath mundane disguises.’
    • ‘He and his gang of accomplices adopted disguises.’
    • ‘So naturally, that was the first thing Lori searched for, after donning her disguise.’
    • ‘The ballets are full of disguises, cross-dressing, and transformations.’
    • ‘To put it in context here, though, disguises were used in respect to the robberies.’
    • ‘He is known to alter his appearance through the use of disguises and has travelled extensively through the US, Europe, Canada and Mexico.’
    • ‘His job was to create disguises, conjuring up such convincing new identities for agents that even their own families were not able to recognize them.’
    • ‘She wore disguises to go to the phone boxes, she wore gloves and she really covered her tracks.’
    • ‘A great crowd turned out in a variety of disguises.’
    • ‘Across the tent were folded pieces of clothing, obviously used in disguises.’
    • ‘He modelled the disguises, drank with journalists and told tales of his life as a soldier, smuggler, thief, acrobat, quack doctor, convict, spy, policeman, factory-owner and private detective.’
    • ‘It's not the most appealing picture, but come on, she lived in the woods, she wore disguises, she begged for money in public.’
    false appearance, camouflage, concealment
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    1. 1.1 The state of having altered one's appearance in order to conceal one's identity.
      ‘I told them you were a policewoman in disguise’
      • ‘He came in disguise, with a fake name, because he knew ‘Prince Charming’ was too obvious.’
      • ‘According to unconfirmed reports, militants in disguise opened fire and detonated an explosive device.’
      • ‘Merlin appears not only as a sorcerer and a wise man but also as a trickster. Constantly, he appears before Arthur in disguise, as a child, a beggar, an old peasant.’
      • ‘Even last October I thought nothing of travelling, illegally and in disguise, high up into the Khyber Pass.’
      • ‘Was the supermodel in fact the mysterious architect in disguise, or was this just another trick?’
      • ‘‘Regardless of his status in politics, Roger never came to the club in disguise,’ he recalls.’
      • ‘So you'll be in disguise, with a fake name and identity.’
      • ‘My understanding was that these reporters concealed their identities and they went in disguise.’
      • ‘He lived with a woman called Macy and travelled widely through Europe, returning to Ireland only on rare occasions, always in disguise.’
      • ‘I would never want to be like certain people, who change the way they dress, go out in disguise, wear a big floppy hat and dark shades.’
      • ‘King Richard also makes an appearance at the tournament, dressed in disguise.’
      • ‘The titular hero does not appear in propria persona to take a prominent part in the action until late in the novel, though he appears in disguise earlier.’
      • ‘Whoever said anything about being in disguise?’
      • ‘You may have seen the computer-enhanced pictures the police released which allegedly show what she might look if she was in disguise.’
      • ‘Next morning he left secretly and, in disguise, appeared at Vendome, for he had been negotiating to marry the duke's daughter.’
      • ‘He told The Times newspaper that ‘living in disguise as a politician in the modern world simply isn't an option’.’
      • ‘They have just finished their 12-year exile in the forest after losing the game of dice and are about to enter the phase of having to live in disguise.’
      • ‘When he wasn't in disguise, he wore silk pajamas.’
      • ‘He has a secret weapon for cow rustling, then when the farms go broke he appears in disguise with a bagload of cash.’
      • ‘One day it was an FBI agent in disguise, then the next we had a KGB double agent called Boris, would you believe.’
    2. 1.2 The concealing of one's true intentions or feelings.
      ‘rows of small children looked at her without disguise’
      • ‘I have communicated to him without disguise. Candor is an important character trait in the novel.’
      • ‘The use of religious language, as an expression of a religiously grounded culture, was not a disguise of pre-existing intentions.’
      • ‘And it is crucial to see that the image of his humanity is not a disguise covering the truer reality of his divinity.’
      • ‘Scarlet's childish behavior was only a disguise; her true self was a woman of virtue, courage, honor, and determination.’
      • ‘And from the storm that swirled a formal nakedness took shape, the truth of disguise and the mask of belief were joined forever.’
      facade, front, false front, cover-up, masquerade, veneer, mask, veil
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Origin

Middle English (meaning ‘change one's usual style of dress’, with no implication of concealing one's identity): from Old French desguisier.

Pronunciation

disguise

/disˈɡīz//dɪsˈɡaɪz/