tr.v. dis·guised, dis·guis·ing, dis·guis·es
a. To modify the manner or appearance of (a person, for example) in order to prevent recognition: disguised himself as a guard and escaped.
b. To make indistinct or difficult to perceive: disguised the bad taste of the medicine with lemon syrup.
2. To conceal or obscure by dissemblance or false show; misrepresent: disguise one's true intentions.
1. Clothes or accessories worn to conceal one's true identity.
a. Appearance that misrepresents the true character of something: a blessing in disguise.
b. A pretense or misrepresentation: His repeated references to his dangerous hobbies were only a disguise to cover up his insecurity.
[Middle English disguisen, from Old French desguiser : des-, dis- + guise, manner; see GUISE.]
dis·guised·ly (-gīzĭd-lē) adv.
Synonyms: disguise, camouflage, cloak, dissemble, dissimulate, mask
These verbs mean to change or modify so as to conceal the true identity or character of: disguised her interest with nonchalance; trying to camouflage their impatience; cloaked his anxiety with a smile; dissembling ill will with false solicitude; couldn't dissimulate his vanity; ambition that is masked as altruism.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.