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[uhn-mask, -mahsk] /ʌnˈmæsk, -ˈmɑsk/
verb (used with object)
to strip a mask or disguise from.
to reveal the true character of; disclose; expose.
Military. to reveal the presence of (guns) by firing.
verb (used without object)
to put off one's mask; appear in true nature.
Origin of unmask
1580-90; un-2 + mask
Related forms
unmasker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unmask
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do not fear me; I may not unmask even to thee, for spies may still be near me.

    Comic Tragedies Louisa M. Alcott
  • Come, unmask, I say, or I shall tell my guards to do it for you.

    Vera Oscar Wilde
  • The promise was made above, to unmask some of the hideous affinities of the anti-slavery theory.

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
  • Mrs. S. I, too, have been blinded, but we will unmask the traitor between us.

    Three Hats Alfred Debrun
  • He ordered the doors to be immediately closed, and desired all to unmask.

    History of the Girondists, Volume I Alphonse de Lamartine
  • I will unmask the man or the woman that has done me this injury.

    A Black Adonis Linn Boyd Porter
British Dictionary definitions for unmask


to remove (the mask or disguise) from (someone or oneself)
to appear or cause to appear in true character
(transitive) (military) to make evident the presence of (weapons), either by firing or by the removal of camouflage, etc
Derived Forms
unmasker, noun
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 unmask

1580s in figurative sense, c.1600 in literal sense, from un- (2) + mask (v.). Related: Unmasked; unmasking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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