[ mas-king, mah-sking ]
/ ˈmæs kɪŋ, ˈmɑ skɪŋ /


Psychology. obscuring, partially or completely, one sensory process by another, as the dulling of the sense of taste by smoking.

Nearby words

  1. masked gout,
  2. masked virus,
  3. masker,
  4. maskil,
  5. maskilic,
  6. masking frame,
  7. masking piece,
  8. masking tape,
  9. maskinonge,
  10. maslin

Origin of masking

First recorded in 1920–25; mask + -ing1, -ing2

Related formsun·mask·ing, adjective


[ mask, mahsk ]
/ mæsk, mɑsk /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to put on a mask; disguise oneself.

Origin of mask

1525–35; < Middle French masque, perhaps directly < Italian maschera mask, disguise < pre-Latin *maskara, an extended form of *mask-, probably with orig. 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); see mascot

Related formsmask·like, adjective

Can be confusedmask masque mosque Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for masking

British Dictionary definitions for masking


/ (ˈmɑːskɪŋ) /


the act or practice of masking
psychol the process by which a stimulus (usually visual or auditory) is obscured by the presence of another almost simultaneous stimulus


/ (mɑːsk) /



Derived Formsmasklike, adjective

Word Origin for mask

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

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 masking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for masking


[ măskĭng ]


The concealment or the screening of one sensory process or sensation by another.
An opaque covering used to camouflage the metal parts of a prosthesis.


[ măsk ]



To cover with a protective mask.
To cover in order to conceal, protect, or disguise.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.