[ uhn-mask, -mahsk ]
/ ʌnˈmæsk, -ˈmɑsk /

verb (used with object)

to strip a mask or disguise from.
to reveal the true character of; disclose; expose.
Military. to reveal the presence of (guns) by firing.

verb (used without object)

to put off one's mask; appear in true nature.

Nearby words

  1. unmannered,
  2. unmannerly,
  3. unmarked,
  4. unmarred,
  5. unmarried,
  6. unmatched,
  7. unmeaning,
  8. unmeaningful,
  9. unmeant,
  10. unmeasurable

Origin of unmask

First recorded in 1580–90; un-2 + mask

Related formsun·mask·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unmask

British Dictionary definitions for unmask


/ (ʌnˈmɑːsk) /


to remove (the mask or disguise) from (someone or oneself)
to appear or cause to appear in true character
(tr) military to make evident the presence of (weapons), either by firing or by the removal of camouflage, etc
Derived Formsunmasker, 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

Word Origin and History for unmask



1580s in figurative sense, c.1600 in literal sense, from un- (2) + mask (v.). Related: Unmasked; unmasking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper