[ 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.

Origin of masking

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

Related forms

un·mask·ing, adjective

Definition for masking (2 of 2)


[ 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 forms

mask·like, adjective

Can be confused

mask 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 (1 of 2)


/ (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

British Dictionary definitions for masking (2 of 2)


/ (mɑːsk) /



Derived Forms

masklike, 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

Medicine definitions for masking (1 of 2)


[ 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.

Medicine definitions for masking (2 of 2)


[ 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.