general external appearance; aspect; semblance: an old principle in a new guise.
assumed appearance or mere semblance: under the guise of friendship.
style of dress: in the guise of a shepherd.
Archaic. manner; mode.

verb (used with object), guised, guis·ing.

to dress; attire: children guised as cowboys.

verb (used without object), guised, guis·ing.

Scot. and North England. to appear or go in disguise.

Origin of guise

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English g(u)ise < Old French < Germanic; see wise2: (v.) Middle English gisen, derivative of the noun
Can be confusedguise guys

Synonyms for guise

1. form, shape.

Synonym study

1. See appearance.




Fran·çois de Lor·raine [frahn-swa duh law-ren] /frɑ̃ˈswa də lɔˈrɛn/, 2nd Duc de,1519–63, French general and statesman.
his sonHen·ri I de Lorraine [ahn-ree] /ɑ̃ˈri/, Duc de,1550–88, French general and leader of opposition to the Huguenots. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for guise

Contemporary Examples of guise

Historical Examples of guise

  • For the time, fear had been routed by growth, while growth had assumed the guise of curiosity.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • The shepherds assume the guise of gentleness and simplicity.


    William Godwin

  • His first visit to the Morton apartment that day had been in the guise of a workman.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • The Indians, under the guise of peace, were plotting a general massacre.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • For the first time, he saw the woman whom he had loved, in her rightful woman's guise.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

British Dictionary definitions for guise



semblance or pretenceunder the guise of friendship
external appearance in general
archaic manner or style of dress
obsolete customary behaviour or manner


dialect to disguise or be disguised in fancy dress
(tr) archaic to dress or dress up

Word Origin for guise

C13: from Old French guise, of Germanic origin; see wise ²
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 guise

late 13c., "style or fashion of attire," from Old French guise "manner, fashion, way," from Frankish *wisa or some similar Germanic source (cf. Old High German wisa "manner, wise;" see wise (n.)). Sense of "assumed appearance" is from 1660s, from earlier meaning "mask, disguise" (c.1500).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper