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- (transitive) To remove a mask from someone.
- (transitive) To expose, or reveal the true character of someone.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shake-speare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (First Quarto), London: […] [Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and Iohn Trundell, published 1603, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], lines 35–36:
- The Charieſt maide is prodigall enough, / If ſhe vnmaske hir beautie to the Moone.
- (intransitive) To remove one's mask.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
- But instead of a direct answer to so important a question, Jones began to be very importunate with the lady to unmask; and at length having prevailed, there appeared not Mrs Fitzpatrick, but the Lady Bellaston herself.
- (intransitive) To cease engaging in masking, to cease disguising one's autism.
- 2019, Sarah Cobbe, Simple Autism Strategies for Home and School: Practical Tips, Resources and Poetry, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, →ISBN, page 49:
- […] to unmask and to assume her 'natural' role (rather than her 'fitting in' role).
- 2019, Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happé, Jo Egerton, Girls and Autism: Educational, Family and Personal Perspectives, Routledge, →ISBN, page 172:
- Autistic females are trying to adhere to social expectations placed upon them, and masking and blending to fit those expectations, […] How do you unmask when you have spent a [long time masking].
- (transitive, military, dated) To expose something that was concealed or shielded from an enemy.
- 1893, Theodore Ayrault Dodge, Hannibal: a History of the Art of War Among the Carthaginians and Romans […] , page 156:
- He recalled his horse. This, retiring, unmasked the heavy infantry, which Hannibal called in from either flank and sent with a vigorous élan in close column across the ford against the ill-arrayed barbarians, followed by the cavalry, which had formed again in its rear.
- 2021, Stephen R. Wise, “To Capture an Island: Amphibious Operations in the Department of the South, 1861–1863”, in Theodore P. Savas, editor, Charleston: Battles and Seacoast Operations, page 10:
- In less than an hour the batteries were unmasked. The Confederate works were visible and at 5:08 a.m., Seymour ordered the batteries to commence firing.
- (transitive, computing) To enable (an interrupt, etc.) by unsetting or setting the associated bit.
to remove a mask from someone
to expose the true character of someone
to remove one's mask