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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
First recorded in 1580-90; un-2 + mask
Related forms
unmasker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unmask
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Him, his own high-born pupil was enabled to unmask, and his disgrace was visited on me.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I would stake my life upon it they will unmask Olivia at once.

  • He was intriguing in Havana—but how could we unmask him there?

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • It was impossible to unmask that man unless by a long and careful action.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • In her proper person she is prodigal if she unmask her beauty to the moon.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks
  • "You will be a mystery to me even when you unmask," replied the mask gravely.

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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