Verb > Dissemble

Verb – Dissemble

The roots inside this word literally mean “to completely imitate,” or more abstractly, “to conceal, to disguise.

To dissemble is to lie, usually because you’re hiding your true thoughts or intentions.

diss EM bull

Part of speech:
Verb, usually the intransitive kind: “he dissembles all the time,” “she got caught dissembling.”

Other forms worth knowing:
dissembled, dissembling, dissembler(s), dissemblance

How to use it:
Pick this formal but common word for talking about anyone–but especially a public figure–who’s a liar, liar, pants on fire.

Talk about people dissembling, often in response to some question that they don’t want to answer. “Even in court, he kept dissembling.” “She jeered, boasted, and dissembled in front of the crowd.” “Faced with the evidence of their lies, they went right on dissembling, as if it were the only thing they knew how to do.”

“Looking at the tape of her statement, it is remarkable how smoothly she dissembles.”
— Michael Gerson, Washington Post, 18 April 2019

“It is a strange thing that even the strongest and frankest natures often have the gift of dissembling when confronted with danger or necessity.”
— James Barnes, “For King or Country,” Harper’s Round Table, 1896