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 ?
I will return to the point that Freeburg made so long ago: that disguise involves a change of personal appearance, and I want to consider here how the act of disguising might have been performed and how it might still be performed.
In a statement, the UKCC said: 'Disguising medication in food or drink can be justified in the best interests of patients who actively refuse medication but who lack the capacity to refuse treatment.'
Strictly speaking, of course, Mulan's switcheroo isn't new; women characters have been disguising themselves as men in the movies for years.
For Julia to be apprehensive about betraying herself implicates a divided design according to which the "true" disguising role (Julia's "myself") and its "false" disguised persona or mask (Sebastian) are subjected to a kind of dissociation.
Joe Titcombe, of chartered surveyors Godfrey-Payton, which submits plans on behalf of Orange, denied the mobile firm was deliberately misleading residents by disguising the mast as a tree.
Anti-virus firm Sophos has released a warning that the Netsky.P worm is disguising itself as a Harry Potter game.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-4 June 2004-Netsky.P worm disguising itself as Harry Potter game(C)1994-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com
Shakespeare made use of the heroine disguising herself as a young man in five of his plays: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline.