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From Latin dissimulare.


  • IPA(key): [dɪˈsɛmbəɫ]
  • (file)


dissemble (third-person singular simple present dissembles, present participle dissembling, simple past and past participle dissembled)

  1. (transitive) To disguise or conceal something.
  2. (transitive) To feign.
    • 1681, John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
      And like a lion, slumb'ring in the way,
      Or sleep-dissembling, while he waits his prey.
    • (Can we date this quote by Tatler and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He soon dissembled a sleep.
  3. (transitive) To deliberately ignore something; to pretend not to notice.
  4. (intransitive) To falsely hide one's opinions or feelings.
    • XVII century, John Dryden, Cymon And Iphigenia; from Boccace
      While to his arms the blushing bride he took,
      To seeming sadness she composed her look;
      As if by force subjected to his will,
      Though pleased, dissembling, and a woman still.

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with disassemble (take apart).