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 ?
The pair recently collaborated on I Want To Be In A Scary Story which continues the winning combination of deadpan humour and bold comic illustrations that made Hoot Owl Master of Disguise so memorable.
And because he is a master of disguise, he uses his expertise to camouage himself so he can feast upon an unsuspecting victim.
Disguise features in many early modern plays, more so in fact than in any body of drama before or since.
SPFX Masks owner Rusty Slusser said he was proud of the disguises but not proud of the way they are being used by thieves.
Painted in swirling black and white shapes designed to disguise its body lines, this pre-production version of the company's new flagship XJ luxury sports saloon was photographed on the road somewhere in Warwickshire.
This is a fun and creative project that is intended to reinforce the concept of animal disguises and provide interaction with family members about the topic being studied.
There is nothing astonishing in this; even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
UGLY mobile phone masts are being hidden across Britain - behind bizarre and amusing disguises.
Two AutoPolaroid suites that involve rudimentary costuming read like a preemptive parody of Cindy Sherman, but Samaras's burgeoning self-reimaginings rarely involve conventional disguises. Instead they emerge in the form of hand-applied multicolored ink dots that create a kind of pointillist miasma in which his figure floats; these deformations are a bridge between the perforations of the artist's early work and the wholesale distortions of his unparalleled Photo-Transformations of the years to follow.
In money laundering the fraudster disguises the existence, nature, source, ownership, location and disposition of property derived from criminal activity.
A dossier detailing more than 100 of the disguises has been sent to every police force in Scotland by the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
However, the character Musco takes on three disguises in the course of the play, for one of which he steals the costume of the clerk Peto.
Signs apparent to earlier historians, for instance that Queen Elizabeth was widely loved by her subjects, are seen as tricks and disguises of power.