Definition of camouflage in English:


Line breaks: cam¦ou|flage
Pronunciation: /ˈkaməflɑːʒ


[mass 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
More example sentences
  • By 1918, the use of military camouflage was axiomatic, and in 1939 war artists were again mobilized to advise on concealment.
  • New ideas are often slow to catch on in the military, and digital camouflage was one of them.
  • Jackson had since met a woman from his wilderness group and they tied the knot in camouflage military fatigues.
1.1Clothing or materials used as camouflage: figures dressed in army camouflage
More example sentences
  • Two giants appeared from a nearby army barracks in camouflage and studded helmets.
  • There are too many hunters with guns wearing camouflage and Red Sox hats.
  • Woolrich offers both camouflage and traditional hunting clothing for turkey hunters.
1.2The natural colouring or form of an animal which enables it to blend in with its surroundings: the whiteness of polar bears provides camouflage
More example sentences
  • One of the most widespread and varied adaptations is natural camouflage, an animal's ability to hide itself from predator and prey.
  • Thus plumage soiling not only provides instant camouflage but, unlike molting, is easily reversible.
  • In its natural environment its mottled colouring provides camouflage.
protective colouring
technical cryptic colouring, cryptic coloration, mimicry
1.3Actions or devices intended to disguise or mislead: much of my apparent indifference was merely protective camouflage
More example sentences
  • Detailed centralised supervision and inspection is a recipe for decline which official statistics merely 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.
  • They're complete masters of camouflage and deception.
facade, front, false front, smokescreen, cover-up, disguise, mask, cloak, blind, screen, masquerade, concealment, dissimulation, pretence; subterfuge


[with object] Back to top  
1Hide or disguise the presence of (a person, animal, or object) by means of camouflage: the caravan was camouflaged with netting and branches from trees
More example sentences
  • Carle's trademark artwork is enhanced by acetate overlays behind which the fish are camouflaged in an effect that is very beautiful.
  • Any small triplefin that ventured too close to these camouflaged predators met a quick end in their cavernous mouths.
  • The nymphs are not as brightly colored as the adults, but are well camouflaged predators who ambush their prey.
1.1Conceal the existence of (something undesirable): grievances should be discussed, not camouflaged
More example sentences
  • Of course, the administration deserves to be criticized for its crude attempts to camouflage the painful reality of the occupation.
  • Her gift for profanity does not a thing to camouflage her upper-class upbringing.
  • Lumping all transition economies into the same academic pot has camouflaged important differences.


First World War: from 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'.

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