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



masquerade (plural masquerades)

  1. A party or assembly of people wearing masks, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions.
    In courtly balls and midnight masquerades - Alexander Pope
  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.
    That masquerade of misrepresentation which invariably accompanied the political eloquence of Rome - Thomas de Quincey
  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.
    • Killingbeck
      to masquerade vice