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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 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

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

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.
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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.
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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!
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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

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

a blessing in disguise

an apparent misfortune that eventually has good results.
See also: blessing, disguise

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Hyland distinguishes carefully between disguise and the other elements that have often been equated with it such as role-playing, deception, and doubling.
The disguise was so effective, an innocent man was arrested and held in custody for several months.
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.
The students explained how their animal changed colors to adapt, disguise or signal other animals.
His disguise is so convincing police said it was hard to spot he was a man.
But operators - such as O2 and Orange - claim the disguises are not to con the public.
These sections of the code prohibit a person from using the proceeds of unlawful activity in a financial transaction with the intent to disguise or conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds.
A dossier detailing more than 100 of the disguises has been sent to every police force in Scotland by the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
Indeed, one might argue that part of the pathos associated with the disguises of the faithful Kent and Edgar in KingLear arises from the fact that those who love them do not recognize them because they are trapped inside a theatrical convention.
They'd assume various disguises to carry on with modern humans and then go back to their homes.
Critics may disagree in some measure on the motivation and the ultimate meaning of the confusion of sexual identity in L'Astree, but there is a remarkable accord on the evidence itself: the blurring of gender lines, the (generically conventional) lack of visual acuity in seeing through disguises, the impediments to courtship and love relationships, a narrator's overt collaboration in ruses of disguise, all have drawn critical attention to a social conflict within the text having psychological ramifications in the delineation of gender roles and traits.
Likewise, in the 1983 musical Yentl, Barbra Streisand disguises herself as a man so she can learn the teachings of the Talmud, which women aren't allowed to study.
Therefore in adopting racial masquerade as their means of rebelling against the Anglophilia of their elders, white American modernists both assumed the existence of natural racial differences and suggested that racial identity might be merely a matter of shuttling back and forth between disguises.