verb (used with object)

  1. to strip a mask or disguise from.
  2. to reveal the true character of; disclose; expose.
  3. Military. to reveal the presence of (guns) by firing.

verb (used without object)

  1. to put off one’s mask; appear in true nature.


  1. using or wearing a mask or masks: a masked burglar; masked actors.
  2. disguised; concealed; hidden: masked treachery; masked forces.
  3. Botany. personate2(def 1).
  4. Zoology. having markings that resemble a mask.


  1. disguised or covered by or as if by a mask
  2. botany another word for personate 2


  1. to remove (the mask or disguise) from (someone or oneself)
  2. to appear or cause to appear in true character
  3. (tr) military to make evident the presence of (weapons), either by firing or by the removal of camouflage, etc

v.1580s in figurative sense, c.1600 in literal sense, from un- (2) + mask (v.). Related: Unmasked; unmasking. adj.

  1. Latent or hidden, as a symptom or disease.
  2. Having masklike markings on the head or face.
  3. Having the anatomy of the next developmental form outlined beneath the integument, as in certain insect pupae.

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