[ mas-kuh-reyd ]
/ ˌmæs kəˈreɪd /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: masquerade / masquerading / masquerader on Thesaurus.com


a party, dance, or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises, and often elegant, historical, or fantastic costumes.
a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering.
false outward show; façade; pretense: a hypocrite's masquerade of virtue.
activity, existence, etc., under false pretenses: a rich man's masquerade as a beggar.

verb (used without object), mas·quer·ad·ed, mas·quer·ad·ing.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of masquerade

1580–90; earlier masquerada, mascarado,pseudo-Spanish forms of Middle French mascarade<Upper Italian mascherada;see mask, -ade1
mas·quer·ad·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for masquerade

/ (ˌmæskəˈreɪd) /


a party or other gathering to which the guests wear masks and costumes
the disguise worn at such a function
a pretence or disguise

verb (intr)

to participate in a masquerade; disguise oneself
to dissemble
masquerader, noun
C16: from Spanish mascarada, from mascara mask
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
What's This Word?