dissemble

[dih-sem-buhl]
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verb (used with object), dis·sem·bled, dis·sem·bling.
  1. to give a false or misleading appearance to; conceal the truth or real nature of: to dissemble one's incompetence in business.
  2. to put on the appearance of; feign: to dissemble innocence.
  3. Obsolete. to let pass unnoticed; ignore.
verb (used without object), dis·sem·bled, dis·sem·bling.
  1. to conceal one's true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.

Origin of dissemble

1490–1500; alteration (by association with obsolete semble to resemble) of Middle English dissimulen < Latin dissimulāre. See dis-1, simulate
Related formsdis·sem·bler, noundis·sem·bling·ly, adverbun·dis·sem·bled, adjectiveun·dis·sem·bling, adjectiveun·dis·sem·bling·ly, adverbwell-dis·sem·bled, adjective
Can be confuseddisassemble dissemble

Synonyms for dissemble

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for dissemble

Contemporary Examples of dissemble

Historical Examples of dissemble

  • She had meant to wait; but, with his keen eyes on her, she could not dissemble.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • It was hard to dissemble still, to tempt him to say something that would madden me!

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • They consult, when they know not how to dissemble; they determine, when they cannot mistake.

  • To dissemble this he had availed himself of the fact that Figaro was a Spaniard.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The contempt he did not trouble to dissemble served but to goad them on.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for dissemble

dissemble

verb
  1. to conceal (one's real motives, emotions, etc) by pretence
  2. (tr) to pretend; simulate
  3. obsolete to ignore
Derived Formsdissemblance, noundissembler, noundissembling, noun, adjectivedissemblingly, adverb

Word Origin for dissemble

C15: from earlier dissimulen, from Latin dissimulāre; probably influenced by obsolete semble to resemble
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

Word Origin and History for dissemble
v.

early 15c. (implied in dissemblable), apparently a variant of Middle English dissimule (influenced by Middle French dessembler or English resemble), late 14c., from Old French dissimuler, from Latin dissimulare (see dissimulation). Related: Dissembled; dissembling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper