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), masqueraded, masquerading.
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.
to disguise oneself.
to take part in a masquerade.

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

masquerader, noun

1. mummery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
masquerade (ˌmæskəˈreɪd)
1.  a party or other gathering to which the guests wear masks and costumes
2.  the disguise worn at such a function
3.  a pretence or disguise
4.  to participate in a masquerade; disguise oneself
5.  to dissemble
[C16: from Spanish mascarada, from mascaramask]

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

1590s, from Fr. mascarade or Sp. mascarada "masked party or dance," from It. mascarata "a ball at which masks are worn," var. of mascherata "masquerade," from maschera (see mask). Figurative sense of "false outward show" is from 1670s. The verb is attested from 1690s. Related: Masquerading.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
So it is easy to see how hypomania could masquerade as cheerful character.
Part of the masquerade is to downplay or deny or not even mention other factors.
Given the hyperbole and personal attacks that so often masquerade for debate
  today, it's worth noting the tenor of this debate.
For their masquerade is as refreshing as a gin fizz on a hot day.
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