To masquerade means "to pretend to be someone else." If you masquerade as a sweet, kind-hearted person, you present that image to the world, hiding your true identity as a jerk who has rage issues.

As a verb, masquerade can also mean to dress up as someone else, in costume. At the parade, you will masquerade as the court jester, wearing a purple outfit and bells and tossing candy to little kids. The noun masquerade refers to both your costume, which usually includes a mask, and the event where you will wear it. The fun is in hiding your real identity for the night.

Definitions of masquerade

n a party of guests wearing costumes and masks

mask, masque, masquerade party
fancy-dress ball, masked ball, masquerade ball
a ball at which guests wear costumes and masks
Type of:
a group of people gathered together for pleasure

n a costume worn as a disguise at a masquerade party

fancy dress, masquerade costume
Type of:
the attire worn in a play or at a fancy dress ball
any attire that modifies the appearance in order to conceal the wearer's identity

n making a false outward show

“a beggar's masquerade of wealth”
Type of:
feigning, pretence, pretending, pretense, simulation
the act of giving a false appearance

v take part in a masquerade

Type of:
disguise, mask
make unrecognizable

v pretend to be someone or something that you are not

“he is masquerading as an expert on the internet”
“This silly novel is masquerading as a serious historical treaty”
Type of:
impersonate, personate, pose
pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions

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