Share this entry

Share this page

dissemble

Syllabification: dis·sem·ble
Pronunciation: /dəˈsembəl
 
/

Definition of dissemble in English:

verb

[no object]
1Conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs: an honest, sincere person with no need to dissemble
More example sentences
  • It is time to stop dissembling, delaying and deceiving.
  • More interestingly, ravens seem to know when other ravens are checking them out, and are able to dissemble and deceive.
  • Women writers developed an artistry of indirection, dissembling, splitting, masking, and coding to get their anger out into the public sphere.
Synonyms
dissimulate, pretend, feign, act, masquerade, sham, fake, bluff, posture, hide one's feelings, put on a false front
1.1 [with object] Disguise or conceal (a feeling or intention): she smiled, dissembling her true emotion
More example sentences
  • But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it.
  • But, in fact, the Captain dissembles his own allegiances.
  • Out of self-interest, rich or eminent people who would curry popular favor to gain political office will dissemble their selfishness and pride.

Origin

late Middle English: alteration (suggested by semblance) of obsolete dissimule, via Old French from Latin dissimulare 'disguise, conceal'.

Derivatives

dissemblance

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The day will provide an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in the theatre make-up, whether beginner or as more advanced to learn a great deal more about the mechanics of dramatic dissemblance.
  • He conjured up a dissemblance of his own, a side-show of Powell being sent to the area of Sharon's crime against humanity to arrange a cease-fire.
  • His dissemblance of a moderate was misleading and devious.

dissembler

2
Pronunciation: /-b(ə)lər/
noun
Example sentences
  • Recently at least, they are, for the most part, ignominious liars, dissemblers, shape-changers, not particularly attractive people, even by their own reckoning.
  • Either he is a consummate actor and dissembler, or what he says is reasonable and fair.
  • These two great dissemblers of global finance are not about third world ‘development’ or tackling world poverty.
Synonyms
liar, dissimulator;
impostor, humbug, bluffer, fraud, actor, hoaxer, charlatan

Definition of dissemble in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: ɪnˈɡreɪʃɪeɪt
verb
bring oneself into favour with someone through flattery…