Definition of camouflage in English:

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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.
disguise, concealment
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;


[with object]
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.
disguise, hide, conceal, keep hidden, mask, screen, veil, cloak, cover, cover up, obscure, shroud
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.


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.

  • This was adopted from French, from camoufler ‘to disguise’, which was originally thieves' slang. It comes from Italian camuffare ‘to disguise’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cam¦ou|flage

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