View synonyms for mask


[ mask, mahsk ]


  1. a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity.
  2. a grotesque or humorous false face worn at a carnival, masquerade, etc.:

    Halloween masks.

  3. Also called swim mask. a device consisting typically of a transparent glass or plastic panel fitted into a flexible rubber gasket that fits snugly around the eyes, over the cheeks, and usually over the nose: used by skin divers.
  4. anything that disguises or conceals; disguise; pretense:

    His politeness is a mask for his fundamentally malicious personality.

  5. a likeness of a face, as one molded on the face in plaster. Compare death mask, life mask.
  6. a covering of wire, gauze, etc., to protect the face, as from splinters, dust, or a pitched ball.
  7. any protective covering for the face or head.
  8. any protective covering, as paper, cardboard, plastic, or the like, used for masking an area of something, as of a photograph or window.
  9. the dark shading on the muzzle of certain dogs.
  10. a representation of a face or head, generally grotesque, used as an architectural ornament or as a decorative device in weaponry, furniture, etc.
  11. a person wearing a mask; masker.
  12. Also a cosmetic cream, gel, paste, or the like, that is applied to the face and allowed to remain for a short time before being removed and is used for tightening, cleansing, refreshing, or lubricating the skin.
  13. a piece of cloth, silk, or plastic material covering the face of an actor to symbolize the character being represented: used in Greek and Roman drama and in some modern plays.
  14. the face or head, as of a fox.
  15. Electronics. a type of stencil applied to the surface of a semiconductor to permit selective etching or deposition: used in the manufacture of integrated circuits by photolithography.
  16. Fortification. a screen, as of earth or brush, for concealing or protecting a battery or any military operation.
  17. Also called braker. Shipbuilding. a sliding timber construction braced against the stern of a hull being launched to keep it from entering the water too rapidly.

verb (used with object)

  1. to disguise or conceal; hide; dissemble:

    to mask one's intentions.

    Synonyms: cover, cloak, screen, veil

  2. to cover or conceal with a mask.
  3. to cover or shield a part of (a design, picture, etc.) in order to prevent reproduction or to protect the surface from the colors used, as in working with an air brush or in painting.
  4. Fortification. to conceal (a battery or any military operation) from the enemy.
  5. to hinder, as an army, from conducting an operation.

verb (used without object)

  1. to put on a mask; disguise oneself.


/ mɑːsk /


  1. any covering for the whole or a part of the face worn for amusement, protection, disguise, etc
  2. a fact, action, etc, that conceals something

    his talk was a mask for his ignorance

  3. another name for masquerade
  4. a likeness of a face or head, either sculpted or moulded, such as a death mask
  5. an image of a face worn by an actor, esp in ancient Greek and Roman drama, in order to symbolize the character being portrayed
  6. See masque
    a variant spelling of masque
  7. surgery a sterile gauze covering for the nose and mouth worn esp during operations to minimize the spread of germs
  8. sport a protective covering for the face worn for fencing, ice hockey, etc
  9. a carving in the form of a face or head, used as an ornament
  10. a natural land feature or artificial object which conceals troops, etc, from view
  11. a device placed over the nose and mouth to facilitate or prevent inhalation of a gas
  12. photog a shield of paper, paint, etc, placed over an area of unexposed photographic surface to stop light falling on it
  13. electronics a thin sheet of material from which a pattern has been cut, placed over a semiconductor chip so that an integrated circuit can be formed on the exposed areas
  14. computing a bit pattern which, by convolution with a second pattern in a logical operation, can be used to isolate a specific subset of the second pattern for examination
  15. entomol a large prehensile mouthpart (labium) of the dragonfly larva
  16. the face or head of an animal, such as a fox, or the dark coloration of the face of some animals, such as Siamese cats and certain dogs
  17. another word for face pack
  18. rare.
    a person wearing a mask


  1. to cover with or put on a mask
  2. tr to conceal; disguise

    to mask an odour

  3. tr photog to shield a particular area of (an unexposed photographic surface) in order to prevent or reduce the action of light there
  4. tr to shield a particular area of (a surface to be painted) with masking tape
  5. tr to cover (cooked food, esp meat) with a savoury sauce or glaze
  6. See mash
    a Scottish variant of mash

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈmaskˌlike, adjective

Discover More

Other Words From

  • masklike adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of mask1

First recorded in 1525–35; from Middle French masque, perhaps directly from Italian maschera “mask, disguise,” from unattested pre-Latin maskara, an extended form of unattested mask-, probably with the original sense “black” (blackening the face being a simple form of disguise); another development of the same base is early Medieval Latin masca “witch, ghost” (also, “mask”); mascot

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of mask1

C16: from Italian maschera, ultimately from Arabic maskharah clown, from sakhira mockery

Discover More

Example Sentences

Danielle Schumann, a Target corporate spokeswoman, said Target requires shoppers to wear masks inside stores.

From Fortune

Biden is leading by example — which is the reason he wears a mask.

Take, for example, wearing face masks — something many Americans are still not doing.

Still, only 34 states and the District of Columbia have universal mask mandates, and many of those mandates didn’t begin until the summer months.

Before designing its own masks, Apple provided employees with standard cloth masks.

From Fortune

A spandex mask stretched over his face, covering his eyes and nose.

Mailer would argue, for example, that timidity does more harm to the novelist than donning a mask of extreme self-confidence.

In fact, what this map really showed was the fallacy of aggregates – and how statistics can mask real cultural shifts.

Onion routers refers to the TOR network, a system that allows users to mask their location and communicate anonymously online.

One gets the sense that they are wearing a mask to confuse their readers, and even to evade them.

For others life is but a foolish leisure with mock activities and mimic avocations to mask its uselessness.

He laid it upon the floor, and took out a plaster mask, and brushing and blowing off the saw-dust, held it up.

I must make no mistake, and blunder into a national type of features, all wrong; if I make your mask, it must do us credit.

He flourished in one hand his red mask and in the other a pompon which he had extracted from his pocket.

Aristide in a hideous red mask and with a bag of confetti under his arm, plunged with enthusiasm into the revelry.


Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.