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[mas-kuh-reyd] /ˌmæs kəˈreɪd/
a party, dance, or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises, and often elegant, historical, or fantastic costumes.
a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering.
false outward show; façade; pretense:
a hypocrite's masquerade of virtue.
activity, existence, etc., under false pretenses:
a rich man's masquerade as a beggar.
verb (used without object), masqueraded, masquerading.
to go about under false pretenses or a false character; assume the character of; give oneself out to be:
to masquerade as a former Russian count.
to disguise oneself.
to take part in a masquerade.
Origin of masquerade
1580-90; earlier masquerada, mascarado, pseudo-Spanish forms of Middle French mascarade < Upper Italian mascherada; see mask, -ade1
Related forms
masquerader, noun
1. mummery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for masqueraded
Historical Examples
  • There will be the old-time masks wherein we masqueraded, and the flimsy veils of deceit behind which we hid our individuality.

  • Communistic quackery has masqueraded as sociological wisdom.

  • On one occasion he masqueraded as a padre, a black mackintosh serving as his priestly garb.

  • She felt that she ought to—but that was only because I masqueraded in your history.

    The Two Vanrevels Booth Tarkington
  • Who, masqueraded in the garb of foes For many a year, and filled my heart with dread.

    Custer, and Other Poems. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • I had masqueraded as one of the ghosts in this accursed house.

    Man and Maid E. (Edith) Nesbit
  • In the morning it was called "coffee," at noon it was dignified as "soup," and at night it masqueraded as "tea."

    The Road Jack London
  • They got done for you—and to you, by a blind force that masqueraded as your own will.

    The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster
  • And in 1778 the wonder-working Mesmer had set up his machinery and masqueraded as a magician in a house in the same street.

  • It was, indeed, Miss Woppit—the fair-haired, shy-eyed boy who for months had masqueraded in the camp as a woman.

    Second Book of Tales Eugene Field
British Dictionary definitions for masqueraded


a party or other gathering to which the guests wear masks and costumes
the disguise worn at such a function
a pretence or disguise
verb (intransitive)
to participate in a masquerade; disguise oneself
to dissemble
Derived Forms
masquerader, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish mascarada, from mascaramask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for masqueraded



1650s, from masquerade (n.). Related: Masqueraded; masquerading.



1590s, "assembly of people wearing masks and disguises," from French mascarade or Spanish mascarada "masked party or dance," from Italian mascarata "a ball at which masks are worn," variant of mascherata "masquerade," from maschera (see mask (n.)). Figurative sense of "false outward show" is from 1670s.


1650s, from masquerade (n.). Related: Masqueraded; masquerading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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