a. A costume party at which masks are worn; a masked ball. Also called masque.
b. A costume for such a party or ball.
a. A disguise or false outward show; a pretense: a masquerade of humility.
b. An involved scheme; a charade.
intr.v. mas·quer·ad·ed, mas·quer·ad·ing, mas·quer·ades
1. To wear a mask or disguise, as at a masquerade: She masqueraded as a shepherd.
2. To go about as if in disguise; have or put on a deceptive appearance: The stowaway masqueraded as a crew member.
[French mascarade, from Italian mascarata, variant of mascherata, from Old Italian maschera, mask; see MASK.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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:
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