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masquerade

[mas-kuh-reyd] /ˌmæs kəˈreɪd/
noun
1.
a party, dance, or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises, and often elegant, historical, or fantastic costumes.
2.
a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering.
3.
false outward show; façade; pretense:
a hypocrite's masquerade of virtue.
4.
activity, existence, etc., under false pretenses:
a rich man's masquerade as a beggar.
verb (used without object), masqueraded, masquerading.
5.
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.
6.
to disguise oneself.
7.
to take part in a masquerade.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; earlier masquerada, mascarado, pseudo-Spanish forms of Middle French mascarade < Upper Italian mascherada; see mask, -ade1
Related forms
masquerader, noun
Synonyms
1. mummery.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for masquerader

masquerade

/ˌmæskəˈreɪd/
noun
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
verb (intransitive)
4.
to participate in a masquerade; disguise oneself
5.
to dissemble
Derived Forms
masquerader, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish mascarada, from mascaramask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for masquerader

masquerade

n.

1590s, "assembly of people wearing masks and disguises," from French mascarade or Spanish mascarada "masked party or dance," from Italian mascarata "a ball at which masks are worn," variant of mascherata "masquerade," from maschera (see mask (n.)). Figurative sense of "false outward show" is from 1670s.

v.

1650s, from masquerade (n.). Related: Masqueraded; masquerading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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