[uhn-mask, -mahsk]
verb (used with object)
  1. to strip a mask or disguise from.
  2. to reveal the true character of; disclose; expose.
  3. Military. to reveal the presence of (guns) by firing.
verb (used without object)
  1. to put off one's mask; appear in true nature.

Origin of unmask

First recorded in 1580–90; un-2 + mask
Related formsun·mask·er, noun


[maskt, mahskt]
  1. using or wearing a mask or masks: a masked burglar; masked actors.
  2. disguised; concealed; hidden: masked treachery; masked forces.
  3. Botany. personate2(def 1).
  4. Zoology. having markings that resemble a mask.

Origin of masked

First recorded in 1575–85; mask + -ed3
Related formsun·masked, adjectivewell-masked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unmasked

Contemporary Examples of unmasked

Historical Examples of unmasked

British Dictionary definitions for unmasked


  1. disguised or covered by or as if by a mask
  2. botany another word for personate 2


  1. to remove (the mask or disguise) from (someone or oneself)
  2. to appear or cause to appear in true character
  3. (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 unmasked



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unmasked in Medicine


  1. Latent or hidden, as a symptom or disease.
  2. Having masklike markings on the head or face.
  3. Having the anatomy of the next developmental form outlined beneath the integument, as in certain insect pupae.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.