Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth. It consists of concealing the truth, or in the case of half-truths, concealing parts of the truth, like inconvenient or secret information. Dissimulation differs from simulation, in which one exhibits false information. Dissimulation commonly takes the form of concealing one's ability in order to gain the element of surprise over an opponent.

Francis Bacon has the following to say on the distinction between simulation and dissimulation, "Dissimulation, in the negative; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not, that he is... Simulation, in the affirmative; when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be, that he is not." The essay from which this comes can be found here.


  • In software development, dissimulation is the logical converse of simulation. In this context dissimulation is a worthwhile tool for protection against a differential attack, implemented by having semantically equivalent executions look different. This goal is to prevent automated tools from detecting and distinguishing any meaningful differences between such executions.
  • Pool hustling is a form of dissimulation, because the hustler conceals their real talent. It is sometimes considered a form of simulation because every hustle conveys false information about the hustler's abilities but this is incorrect. A hustler gives the false appearance that he isn't something. Simulation would be giving the false appearance that you are something. A hustler is a 'dissimulator'. An equivalent 'simulator' would be a man pretending (by his confident movements and his bragging) that he was excellent at pool, when in fact he was terrible (he can't make a single shot).
  • In the animal kingdom a predator giving the impression that it is harmless is an example of dissimulation, such as the leaf fish. A animal that is typically prey giving the impression that it is dangerous is an example of simulation, such as the frill-necked lizard.

See also


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  • dissimulation — [ disimylasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1190; lat. dissimulatio 1 ♦ Action de dissimuler; comportement d une personne qui dissimule ses pensées, ses sentiments. Agir avec dissimulation. ⇒ duplicité, hypocrisie, sournoiserie (cf. En cachette, en douce) . « La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • dissimulation — dis*sim u*la tion, n. [L. dissimulatio: cf. F. dissimulation.] The act of dissembling; a hiding under a false appearance; concealment by feigning; false pretension; hypocrisy. [1913 Webster] Let love be without dissimulation. Rom. xii. 9. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dissimulation — DISSIMULATION. s. f. Déguisement. Art, soin de cacher ses sentimens, ses desseins. Sage dissimulation. Dissimulation artificieuse. La feinte est encore pire que la dissimulation …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Dissimulation — ist das absichtliche Herunterspielen bzw. Verbergen von Krankheitszeichen (Symptomen), um für gesund gehalten zu werden. Sie ist zu unterscheiden von der Simulation, bei der Krankheitszeichen bewusst und absichtlich vorgetäuscht werden.[1] Beiden …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dissimulation — late 14c., from O.Fr. dissimulation (12c.), from L. dissimulationem (nom. dissimulatio) a disguising, concealment, noun of action from pp. stem of dissimulare make unlike, conceal, disguise, from dis completely + simulare pretend, assume,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dissimulation — Dissimulation, lat. deutsch, Verstellung, Verheimlichung; dissimuliren, verstellen, verheimlichen (der Falsche simulirt zu sein, was er nicht ist; er dissimulirt aber, indem er nicht als solcher erscheinen will, wie er wirklich ist) …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • dissimulation — index color (deceptive appearance), deceit, deception, disguise, duplicity, false pretense, falsehood, falsification …   Law dictionary

  • dissimulation — duplicity, *deceit, cunning, guile Analogous words: dissembling, cloaking, masking, disguising, camouflaging (see DISGUISE): hiding, concealing, secreting (see HIDE): pretending or pretense, feigning, shamming (see corresponding verbs at ASSUME) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • dissimulation — Dissimulation, Dissimulatio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • dissimulation — (di ssi mu la sion ; en vers, de six syllabes) s. f. 1°   Action de dissimuler ses sentiments, ses desseins. User de dissimulation. Avoir recours à la dissimulation. •   La dissimulation n est pas aisée à bien définir.... c est un certain art de… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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