Definition of disguise in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪsˈɡʌɪz/


[with object]
1Give (someone or oneself) a different appearance in order to conceal one’s identity: he disguised himself as a girl Bryn was disguised as a priest (as adjective disguised) a disguised reporter
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In order to reach the river, they'd disguised themselves as servants.
dress oneself up as, pass oneself of as, pretend to be, impersonate, pose as
rare personate
in disguise, camouflaged, incognito, under cover;
sailing under false colours
1.1Make (something) unrecognizable by altering its appearance, sound, taste, or smell: does holding a handkerchief over the mouthpiece really disguise your voice?
More example sentences
  • It can make sweet things sweeter, it can disguise unpleasant tastes and smells and it is the most versatile food ingredient known to man.
  • ‘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.
1.2Conceal the nature or existence of (a feeling or situation): he made no effort to disguise his contempt his voice was heavy with barely disguised emotion
More example sentences
  • I didn't make an effort to disguise my emotions or hide my tears, which were slowly beginning to fall.
  • The judges make no effort to disguise their boredom.
  • It's very easy to tell a fun story which disguised my feelings about the most painful moment in my life.


1A means of altering one’s appearance to conceal one’s identity: I put on dark glasses as a disguise
More example sentences
  • More clothes and disguises were needed, debts also needed to be repaid, and tracks covered.
  • 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.
false appearance, camouflage, concealment;
outfit, costume
informal get-up
1.1 [mass noun] The state of having altered one’s appearance in order to conceal one’s identity: I told them you were a policewoman in disguise
More example sentences
  • He has a secret weapon for cow rustling, then when the farms go broke he appears in disguise with a bagload of cash.
  • My understanding was that these reporters concealed their identities and they went in disguise.
  • 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.
1.2 [mass noun] The concealing of one’s true intentions or feelings: the children looked at her without disguise
More example sentences
  • And from the storm that swirled a formal nakedness took shape, the truth of disguise and the mask of belief were joined forever.
  • Scarlet's childish behavior was only a disguise; her true self was a woman of virtue, courage, honor, and determination.
  • The use of religious language, as an expression of a religiously grounded culture, was not a disguise of pre-existing intentions.
facade, front, false front, cover-up, masquerade, veneer, mask, veil;
smokescreen, dissimulation, pretence, deception



Pronunciation: /dɪsˈɡʌɪzm(ə)nt/
noun ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • Main features are the alienation of samples by creating a new visual connection in substance, as well as the disguisement of original motives.
  • When of necessity women's underwear was hung on the washline, its disguisement was frequently sought by hanging it upside down.
  • But one night, under cover of darkness, and further concealed in a most cunning disguisement, a desperate burglar slid into his happy home, and robbed them all of everything.


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

  • Guise came into English via French from a Germanic root with the sense ‘characteristic, manner, custom’. An early meaning of disguise was ‘change one's usual style of dress’, with no implication of concealing one's identity, but it soon developed a sense of concealment.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|guise

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