disguise

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a blessing in disguise

An unfortunate event or situation that results in an unforeseen 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

be a blessing in disguise

To result in an unforeseen 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

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

disguise (someone or oneself) in (something)

To make one unrecognizable through the use of clothing and other such props. The robbers disguised themselves in masks so that no one would recognize them when they committed the crime.
See also: disguise

disguise (someone or something) as (someone or something)

To cause someone or something to look or seem like someone or something else. Unless you plan to disguise yourself as a potted plant, there's no way you'll be able to sit in on that meeting. I think that statement was just anger disguised as sarcasm.
See also: disguise

in disguise

Hiding the true appearance or nature of someone or something. A: "Well, if you want to spy on him, we'll have to go to the restaurant in disguise." B: "I've got some wigs from last Halloween—will that work?" 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: disguise
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a blessing in disguise

COMMON If an event is a blessing in disguise, it causes problems at first, but later brings greater advantages. Franklin's illness proved a blessing in disguise, for it gave him strength and courage which he had not had before. The defeat might be a blessing in disguise — she now avoids a quarter final clash with America's Linda Harvey-Wild. Other observers feel the split may be a blessing in disguise for the organization.
See also: blessing, disguise
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a blessing in disguise

an apparent misfortune that eventually has good results.
See also: blessing, disguise
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a blessing in disˈguise

a thing that seems bad, unpleasant, etc. at first but that has advantages in the end: Not getting that job was a blessing in disguise, as the firm went out of business only a few months later.
See also: blessing, disguise
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

blessing in disguise, a

Good luck coming out of bad; a misfortune unexpectedly turning into a good thing. “E’en crosses from his sov’reign hand are blessings in disguise,” wrote the eighteenth-century poet James Hervey, “cross” here meaning “a cross to bear,” or burden. The phrase has been a cliché for about a century.
See also: blessing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
They admitted possessing disguised firearms, evading customs controls and possessing offensive weapons.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a disguised firearm on September 19, a pepper spray disguised as a pen, possessing a prohibited weapon a pepper spray valve, and also possessing on the same date amphetamines, a Class B drug, with intent to supply.
The Government will ensure that if you have used or continue to use disguised remuneration schemes you will have to pay tax and NICs on your remuneration.
Robinson, 42, of Ramillies Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to possessing disguised firearms and was jailed for five years.
Another problem caused by disguised unemployment is that it usually kills competency and talent.
However, under section 707(a)(2)(B) such treatment is not available for mutual transfers between a partner and partnership of money or property that, when viewed together, are properly characterized as a sale or exchange of property ("disguised sale").
But at the eleventh hour she changed her pleas and pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing a disguised firearm on March 3.
The phone mast disguised as a fir tree in Holbrook Way, Coventry.
All new cars are heavily disguised to allow testing to done on public roads before going into production.
Many birds have coloring that allows them to be disguised and camouflaged, such as the snowy owl blending in with snow.
Meissner draws upon his many years as a New York City police officer in "Disguised Weapons: The Law Enforcement Guide To Covert Guns, Knives, And Other Weapons", a profusely illustrated compendium on the diverse kinds of covert weaponry found on people in the street, prisoners in custody, and favored by those with nefarious intent.
When disguised as an inanimate (nonliving) object, animals must either stay perfectly still or move in a believable way (such as a bright green chameleon walking slowly and swaying to look like a fluttering leaf).
Because corporate debt in reality may be disguised equity to achieve better tax results, the IRS might treat debt securities issued by the corporation as equity for tax purposes.
The stringent measures were taken after British police arrested 24 people suspected of trying to smuggle bombs disguised as drinks aboard aircraft.