verb (used with object), dis·sim·u·lat·ed, dis·sim·u·lat·ing.

to disguise or conceal under a false appearance; dissemble: to dissimulate one's true feelings about a rival.

verb (used without object), dis·sim·u·lat·ed, dis·sim·u·lat·ing.

to conceal one's true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.

Origin of dissimulate

First recorded in 1525–35, dissimulate is from the Latin word dissimulātus (past participle of dissimulāre to feign). See dis-1, simulate
Related formsdis·sim·u·la·tive, adjectivedis·sim·u·la·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dissimulate

feign, hide, pretend, mask, cloak, camouflage, dissemble, deceive, fake, beard, make-believe

Examples from the Web for dissimulate

Historical Examples of dissimulate

  • The patriots could not dissimulate the impression they made.

  • To dissimulate my own share in it, at any rate, I asked him how his mother might be.

    The Patagonia

    Henry James

  • Since hearing Marta's story he found it hard to dissimulate with Krell.

    The Sargasso of Space

    Edmond Hamilton

  • Yet each glance said the same, that it was wise to dissimulate and take no offense.

    The Border Watch

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • He fronted her, with a quickness he tried to dissimulate, from the other side.

    The Two Magics

    Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for dissimulate



to conceal (one's real feelings) by pretence
Derived Formsdissimulation, noundissimulative, adjectivedissimulator, 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

Word Origin and History for dissimulate

1530s, from Latin dissimulatus, past participle of dissimulare "to disguise, hide, conceal, keep secret," from dis- (see dis-) + simulare (see simulate). Related: Dissimulated; dissimulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper