[ mas-kuh-reyd ]
See synonyms for: masquerademasqueradingmasquerader on

  1. a party, dance, or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises, and often elegant, historical, or fantastic costumes.

  2. a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering.

  1. false outward show; façade; pretense: a hypocrite's masquerade of virtue.

  2. 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.
  1. to go about under false pretenses or a false character; assume the character of; give oneself out to be: to masquerade as a former Russian count.

  2. to disguise oneself.

  1. to take part in a masquerade.

Origin of masquerade

1580–90; earlier masquerada, mascarado,pseudo-Spanish forms of Middle French mascarade<Upper Italian mascherada;see mask, -ade1

Other words for masquerade

Other words from masquerade

  • mas·quer·ad·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use masquerade in a sentence

  • He hid himself in Assouan with belief for a companion, he came back and found that companion had been but a masquerader—disbelief.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
  • Drawing his sword Philibert strode forward and with a quick turn confronted the bold masquerader.

    The Court Jester | Cornelia Baker
  • Noble gentleman of another period, he stalked a piteous masquerader where he had once been at home.

    Lazarre | Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • Faith, a paladin, a deliverer of oppressed damsels, a very carnival masquerader!

    Joan of the Sword Hand | S(amuel) R(utherford) Crockett
  • "But she called me a hypocrite; a Christian masquerader, Dogvane," he said.

British Dictionary definitions for masquerade


/ (ˌmæskəˈreɪd) /

  1. a party or other gathering to which the guests wear masks and costumes

  2. the disguise worn at such a function

  1. a pretence or disguise

  1. to participate in a masquerade; disguise oneself

  2. to dissemble

Origin of masquerade

C16: from Spanish mascarada, from mascara mask

Derived forms of masquerade

  • masquerader, noun

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