The noun is borrowed from Middle French mascarade, masquarade, masquerade (modern French mascarade (“masquerade, masque; farce”)), and its etymon Italian mascherata (“masquerade”), from maschera (“mask”) + -ata. Maschera is derived from Medieval Latin masca (“mask”): see further there. The English word is cognate with Late Latin masquarata, Portuguese mascarada, Spanish mascarada.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌmæskəˈɹeɪd/, /ˈmæskəˌɹeɪd/, /ˌmɑːs-/, /ˈmɑːs-/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌmæskəˈɹeɪd/, /ˈmæskəˌɹeɪd/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪd
- Hyphenation: mas‧que‧rade
- An assembly or party of people wearing (usually elaborate or fanciful) masks and costumes, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions.
- Synonym: (obsolete) masque
- I was invited to the masquerade party at their home.
- 1714, Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume I, London: […] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, […], published 1717, OCLC 43265629, canto I, page 125:
- What guards the purity of melting Maids, / In courtly Balls and midnight Maſquerades, / Safe from the treach'rous friend, and daring ſpark, / The glance by day, the whiſper in the dark; / [...] / 'Tis but their Sylph, the wiſe Celeſtials know, / Tho' Honour is the word with Men below.
- The act of wearing a mask or dressing up in a costume for, or as if for, a masquerade ball.
- (figuratively) An act of living under false pretenses; a concealment of something by a false or unreal show; a disguise, a pretence; also, a pretentious display.
- (figuratively) An assembly of varied, often fanciful, things.
- (fandom slang) A cosplay event at which costumed attendees perform skits.
- (obsolete) A dramatic performance by actors in masks; a mask or masque.
- (obsolete, rare) A Spanish entertainment or military exercise 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.
- (intransitive) To take part in a masquerade; to assemble in masks and costumes; (loosely) to wear a disguise.
- I’m going to masquerade as the wikipede. What are you going to dress up as?
- 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “[The Fables of Anianus, &c.] Fab[le] CCXXIV. An Ass in a Lyon’s Skin.”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: […], London: […] R[ichard] Sare, […], OCLC 228727523, page 196:
- There was a Freak took an Aſs in the Head, to Scoure abroad on the Ramble; and away he goes into the Woods, Maſquerading up and down in a Lyon's Skin.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To pass off as a different person or a person with qualities that one does not possess; also, to make a pretentious show of being what one is not.
- He masqueraded as my friend until the truth finally came out.
- (transitive, rare) To conceal (someone) with, or as if with, a mask; to disguise.
- ^ “masquerade, n. and adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2000; “masquerade, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “masquerade, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2000; “masquerade, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.