[ mas-kuh-reyd ]
/ ˌmæs kəˈreɪd /


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.

Nearby words

  1. maspero, gaston camille charles,
  2. masqat,
  3. masque,
  4. masque biliaire,
  5. masquer,
  6. mass,
  7. mass affluent,
  8. mass book,
  9. mass card,
  10. mass defect

Origin of masquerade

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

Related formsmas·quer·ad·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for masquerading

British Dictionary definitions for masquerading


/ (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
Derived Formsmasquerader, noun

Word Origin for masquerade

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

Word Origin and History for masquerading
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper