Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The method or result of concealing personnel or equipment from an enemy by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings.
  • n. Concealment by disguise or protective coloring.
  • n. Fabric or a garment dyed in splotches of green, brown, tan, and black so as to make the wearer indistinguishable from the surrounding environment.
  • transitive v. To conceal by the use of disguise or by protective coloring or garments that blend in with the surrounding environment.
  • transitive v. To conceal, usually through misrepresentation or other artifice: camouflaged their hatred with professions of friendship. See Synonyms at disguise.
  • intransitive v. To use protective coloring or garments for concealment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disguise or covering up.
  • n. The act of disguising.
  • n. A pattern on clothing consisting of irregularly shaped patches that are either greenish/brownish, brownish/whitish, or bluish/whitish, as used by ground combat forces.
  • n. Resemblance of an organism to its surroundings for avoiding detection
  • n. Clothes made from camouflage fabric, for concealment in combat or hunting.
  • v. To hide or disguise something by covering it up or changing the way it looks.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of concealing the identity of something by modifying its appearance
  • n. fabric dyed with splotches of green and brown and black and tan; intended to make the wearer of a garment made of this fabric hard to distinguish from the background
  • n. device or stratagem for concealment or deceit
  • v. disguise by camouflaging; exploit the natural surroundings to disguise something
  • n. an outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something

Etymologies

French, from camoufler, to disguise, alteration (influenced by camouflet, snub, smoke blown in one's face) of Italian camuffare.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French camouflage, from camoufler ("to veil, disguise"), alteration (due to camouflet "smoke blown in one's face") of Italian camuffare ("to muffle the head"), from ca- (from Italian capo "head") + muffare ("to muffle"), from Medieval Latin muffula, muffla ("muff"), from Frankish *molfell (“soft garment made of hide”) from *mol (“softened, forworn”) (akin to Old High German molawēn "to soften", Middle High German molwic "soft") + *fell (“hide, skin”), from Proto-Germanic *fellan (“skin, film, fleece”), from Proto-Indo-European *pel(e)(w)-, *plē(w)- (“skin, hide”). Akin to Old High German fel ("fell, skin, hide"), Old English fell ("fell, skin, hide"). Alternate etymology traces the Italian and Medieval Latin words to Middle High German mouwe, mōwe ("sleeve") (German Muff "muff", Dutch mouw "sleeve") from Proto-Germanic *mawwō (“sleeve”) + fell "skin". More at mulch, fell. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Some good animal examples, and not chameleons!

    January 22, 2013

  • JM can’t find his camouflage gear.

    July 4, 2011

  • Colonel Gathersoles, O.B.E., was a warrior with his country's colours blazoned all over his face. He had red veins down his nose, a white moustache, and mild blue eyes. The mildness was nature's camouflage. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008