Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — dissemble

Good evening, Netizens...

November 10, 2012

Word of the Day

  • dissemble
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dih-SEM-bul\


: to put on a false appearance : to conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense
: to hide (something) under a false appearance
: to put on the appearance of : simulate

In order to stay on his bosses' good side, John dissembled about his intention to look for a new job at the end of the year.

"His stints as an Illinois state senator and U.S. senator were brief and unimpressive. His record was thin. Regardless, the media establishment sold him as the most brilliant leader since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They dissembled." — From a commentary by Jeffrey T. Kuhner in The Washington Times, October 5, 2012


We don't have anything to hide: "dissemble" is a synonym of "disguise," "cloak," and "mask." "Disguise" implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity. "Cloak" suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention. "Mask" suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something. "Dissemble" (from Latin "dissimulare," meaning "to hide or conceal") stresses the intent to deceive, especially about one's own thoughts or feelings, and often implies that the deception is something that would warrant censure if discovered.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.