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devil in disguise

Something or someone that appears to be good, useful, or benevolent, but that in reality proves to be the opposite. When I first met my ex-husband, I thought he was the nicest, most generous man alive, but he turned out to be the devil in disguise. The new cancer-treating drug held great promise, but it proved a devil in disguise when the true scale of its side effects became known.
See also: devil, disguise

a blessing in disguise

An unfortunate event or situation that results in an unforseen positive outcome. Running late for work turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I would have been in the middle of that big multi-car pileup had I left the house on time.
See also: blessing, disguise

blessing in disguise

Fig. something that at first seems bad, but later turns out to be beneficial. Tony's motorcycle accident was a blessing in disguise, because he got enough insurance money from the other driver to make a down payment on a house. Dad's illness was a blessing in disguise; it brought the family together for the first time in years.
See also: blessing, disguise

disguise someone in something

to conceal someone's identity in a costume or makeup. We disguised her in men's clothing and got her across the border. She disguised herself in a clown suit.
See also: disguise

disguise someone or something as someone or something

to dress or make someone up to appear to be someone or something. We disguised the child as a witch. We disguised Gerald as a pumpkin.
See also: disguise

in disguise

hidden behind a disguise; looking like something else. Santa Claus was really the little child's father in disguise. What I thought was terrible turned out to be a blessing in disguise!
See also: disguise

a blessing in disguise

something that at first appears to be bad or unlucky but is actually good Losing my job was a blessing in disguise - I never would have found this one if it hadn't happened.
See also: blessing, disguise

be a blessing in disguise

to be something which has a good effect, although at first it seemed that it would be bad or not lucky Losing my job turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it forced me to think carefully about my future.
See also: blessing, disguise

blessing in disguise

A misfortune that unexpectedly turns into good fortune, as in Missing the train was a blessing in disguise, for if I hadn't, I wouldn't have met my future wife . [Mid-1700s]
See also: blessing, disguise
References in periodicals archive ?
A Blessing Well Disguised is Burlingame's story of seeking meaning in suffering.
Another problem caused by disguised unemployment is that it usually kills competency and talent.
At Newcastle crown court, Phillips admitted possessing a disguised weapon.
The IRS determined that the gain should have been reported in 1999, when WISCO contributed its assets to the LLC, and that the transaction was a disguised sale.
Disguised in black ski masks and gloves, they utter few words during the robberies, leaving few clues about their voices or other distinguishing features.
A third-party investor will normally insist on a bona-fide debt instrument, market interest rate and regular payments, thereby nullifying most of the points indicating disguised equity arrangements.
The stringent measures were taken after British police arrested 24 people suspected of trying to smuggle bombs disguised as drinks aboard aircraft.
Highly talented players can take seemingly routine approach shots on the run and turn them into disguised drop shots.
Ellen Craft disguised herself as a white man to escape from slavery.
REGGIE ROBERTS enjoyed another great pay-day at his local Newbridge track on Friday night when Disguised justified 7-4 favouritism when winning the E20,000 Cox Cup.
Also methodically parodic and skillfully disguised, Larsen's revolt, unlike Johnson's or Schuyler's, however, is expressed through her protagonists' search for a sense of the self and through Larsen's embodiment of an alternative identity for African American women, an identity of "double double consciousness.
The hill's far side--across the US border--may promise freedom and wealth, but these are "delayed | embraced | eluded | edited | aborted | adapted | disguised | resisted | imposed," in the words by which the artist characterizes modernity in Mexico.
It has previously disguised itself in files offering celebrity photos, reports the BBC.
Here Dempsey carefully identifies the characters' clothing as pageant costumes, sees the nymph Flora as a disguised portrait of Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, and expands upon Warburg's hypothesis that the painting reflects Poliziano's Stanze per la Giostra.
In May 1999, Layton wrote an e-mail about the bank's use of prepaid commodity transactions: "We are making disguised loans, usually buried in commodities or equities derivatives (and I'm sure in other areas) .