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From French mascarade (Spanish mascarada), from Italian mascarata (mascherata). See “mask”.


  • IPA(key): /mæskəˈreɪd/, /mɑːskəˈreɪd/
  • Rhymes: -eɪd
  • (file)


masquerade (plural masquerades)

  1. A party or assembly of people wearing masks, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions.
  2. (fandom slang) A cosplay event at which costumed attendees perform skits on a stage.
  3. (obsolete) A dramatic performance by actors in masks; a mask. See “mask
  4. Acting or living under false pretenses; concealment of something by a false or unreal show; pretentious show; disguise.
    I was invited to the masquerade at their home.
    • Thomas de Quincey
      that masquerade of misrepresentation which invariably accompanied the political eloquence of Rome
  5. (archaic) A Spanish entertainment in which squadrons of horses charge at each other, the riders fighting with bucklers and canes.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]


masquerade (third-person singular simple present masquerades, present participle masquerading, simple past and past participle masqueraded)

  1. (intransitive) To assemble in masks; to take part in a masquerade.
    I'm going to masquerade as the wikipede. What are you going to dress up as?
  2. (intransitive) To frolic or disport in disguise; to make a pretentious show of being what one is not.
    He masqueraded as my friend until the truth finally came out.
    A freak took an ass in the head, and he goes into the woods, masquerading up and down in a lion's skin - Roger L'Estrange
  3. (transitive) To conceal with masks; to disguise.
    • 2018 July 25, A. A. Dowd, “Fallout may be the Most Breathlessly Intense Mission: Impossible Adventure Yet”, in The A.V. Club[1], archived from the original on 31 July 2018:
      Ethan Hunt, the human missile of American intelligence that Tom Cruise has been popping back in to play for more than 20 years now, is masquerading as a mysterious terrorist, the perfectly named John Lark, to buy back some plutonium he’s lost to a cabal of doomsday extremists.