[mas-king, mah-sking]
backing ( def 4 ).
Psychology. obscuring, partially or completely, one sensory process by another, as the dulling of the sense of taste by smoking.

1920–25; mask + -ing1, -ing2

unmasking, adjective Unabridged


[mask, mahsk]
a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity.
a grotesque or humorous false face worn at a carnival, masquerade, etc.: Halloween masks.
Also called swim mask. a device consisting typically of a transparent glass or plastic panel fitted into a flexible rubber gasket that fits snugly around the eyes, over the cheeks, and usually over the nose: used by skin divers.
anything that disguises or conceals; disguise; pretense: His politeness is a mask for his fundamentally malicious personality.
a likeness of a face, as one molded on the face in plaster. Compare death mask, life mask.
a covering of wire, gauze, etc., to protect the face, as from splinters, dust, or a pitched ball.
any protective covering for the face or head.
any protective covering, as paper, cardboard, plastic, or the like, used for masking an area of something, as of a photograph or window.
the dark shading on the muzzle of certain dogs.
a representation of a face or head, generally grotesque, used as an architectural ornament or as a decorative device in weaponry, furniture, etc.
a person wearing a mask; masker.
masque ( defs 1–3 ).
Also, masque. a cosmetic cream, gel, paste, or the like, that is applied to the face and allowed to remain for a short time before being removed and is used for tightening, cleansing, refreshing, or lubricating the skin.
a piece of cloth, silk, or plastic material covering the face of an actor to symbolize the character being represented: used in Greek and Roman drama and in some modern plays.
the face or head, as of a fox.
Electronics. a type of stencil applied to the surface of a semiconductor to permit selective etching or deposition: used in the manufacture of integrated circuits by photolithography.
Fortification. a screen, as of earth or brush, for concealing or protecting a battery or any military operation.
Also called braker. Shipbuilding. a sliding timber construction braced against the stern of a hull being launched to keep it from entering the water too rapidly.
verb (used with object)
to disguise or conceal; hide; dissemble: to mask one's intentions.
to cover or conceal with a mask.
to cover or shield a part of (a design, picture, etc.) in order to prevent reproduction or to protect the surface from the colors used, as in working with an air brush or in painting.
Fortification. to conceal (a battery or any military operation) from the enemy.
to hinder, as an army, from conducting an operation.
verb (used without object)
to put on a mask; disguise oneself.

1525–35; < Middle French masque, perhaps directly < Italian maschera mask, disguise < pre-Latin *maskara, an extended form of *mask-, probably with orig. sense “black” (blackening the face being a simple form of disguise); another development of the same base is early Medieval Latin masca witch, ghost (also, mask); see mascot

masklike, adjective

mask, masque, mosque.

20. veil, screen, cloak, cover. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To masking
World English Dictionary
mask (mɑːsk)
1.  any covering for the whole or a part of the face worn for amusement, protection, disguise, etc
2.  a fact, action, etc, that conceals something: his talk was a mask for his ignorance
3.  another name for masquerade
4.  a likeness of a face or head, either sculpted or moulded, such as a death mask
5.  an image of a face worn by an actor, esp in ancient Greek and Roman drama, in order to symbolize the character being portrayed
6.  a variant spelling of masque
7.  surgery a sterile gauze covering for the nose and mouth worn esp during operations to minimize the spread of germs
8.  sport a protective covering for the face worn for fencing, ice hockey, etc
9.  a carving in the form of a face or head, used as an ornament
10.  a natural land feature or artificial object which conceals troops, etc, from view
11.  a device placed over the nose and mouth to facilitate or prevent inhalation of a gas
12.  photog a shield of paper, paint, etc, placed over an area of unexposed photographic surface to stop light falling on it
13.  electronics a thin sheet of material from which a pattern has been cut, placed over a semiconductor chip so that an integrated circuit can be formed on the exposed areas
14.  computing a bit pattern which, by convolution with a second pattern in a logical operation, can be used to isolate a specific subset of the second pattern for examination
15.  entomol a large prehensile mouthpart (labium) of the dragonfly larva
16.  the face or head of an animal, such as a fox, or the dark coloration of the face of some animals, such as Siamese cats and certain dogs
17.  another word for face pack
18.  rare a person wearing a mask
19.  to cover with or put on a mask
20.  (tr) to conceal; disguise: to mask an odour
21.  (tr) photog to shield a particular area of (an unexposed photographic surface) in order to prevent or reduce the action of light there
22.  (tr) to shield a particular area of (a surface to be painted) with masking tape
23.  (tr) to cover (cooked food, esp meat) with a savoury sauce or glaze
24.  a Scottish variant of mash
[C16: from Italian maschera, ultimately from Arabic maskharah clown, from sakhira mockery]

masking (ˈmɑːskɪŋ)
1.  the act or practice of masking
2.  psychol the process by which a stimulus (usually visual or auditory) is obscured by the presence of another almost simultaneous stimulus

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, from M.Fr. masque "covering to hide or guard the face," from It. maschera, from M.L. masca "mask, specter, nightmare," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Arabic maskhara "buffoon," from sakhira "to ridicule." Or via Prov. mascarar, Catalan mascarar, O.Fr. mascurer "to black (the face)," perhaps
from a Germanic source akin to English mesh (q.v.). But cf. Occitan mascara "to blacken, darken," derived from mask- "black," which is held to be from a pre-I.E. language, and Old Occitan masco "witch," surviving in dialects; in Beziers it means "dark cloud before the rain comes." [See Walther von Wartburg, "Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch: Eine Darstellung galloromanischen sprachschatzes"] The verb meaning "to wear a mask" is from 1580s; in the extended sense of "disguise," is attested from 1847. Related: Masking. Masking tape first recorded 1936; so called because it is used to block out certain surfaces before painting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mask (māsk)

  1. A covering for the nose and mouth that is used for inhaling oxygen or an anesthetic.

  2. A covering worn over the nose and mouth, as by a surgeon or dentist, to prevent infection.

  3. A facial bandage.

  4. Something, often a trait, that disguises or conceals.

  5. Any of a various of conditions producing alteration or discoloration of the skin of the face.

  6. An expressionless appearance of the face seen in certain diseases, such as Parkinsonism.

v. masked, mask·ing, masks
  1. To cover with a protective mask.

  2. To cover in order to conceal, protect, or disguise.

masking n.

  1. The concealment or the screening of one sensory process or sensation by another.

  2. An opaque covering used to camouflage the metal parts of a prosthesis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The blades whip up a frenetic whirlwind of snow, masking his view.
Obtain tape of some kind--masking tape would work nicely.
After it dried, he ran masking tape across the fence and applied darker blue
  paint along the bottom.
Secure paper to pumpkin with masking tape or pushpins.
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