Mask (mask), sb.2 1534. [-Fr. masque-It. maschera, perh.- Arab. maskara buffoon, f. sakira ridicule.] 1. a. A covering, usually of velvet or silk (with eye-holes), worn to conceal the face at balls, masquerades, etc. b. A screen of wire, gauze, etc. worn on the face for protection 1591. c. Antiq. The hollow figure of a human head worn by ancient Greek and Roman actors, 1705. d. A likeness of a personís face in clay, wax, etc. esp. one made by taking a mould from the face itself. Also death-m. 1780. e. A grotesque representation of a face worn on festive and other occasions, to produce a humorous or terrifying effect 1837. 2. fig. a. A cloak, disguise, pretence 1577. b. Something which covers or hides from view 1752. 3. A masked person 1580. 4. In techn. uses (see below) 1731.
Masque (mask). 1514. [orig. the same wd. as MASK sb.2; now differentiated.] 1. A masquerade, masked ball. [So in Fr.] Now rare 2. A form of amateur histrionic entertainment, originally consisting of dancing and acting in dumb show, the performers being masked; afterwards including dialogue and song 1562. Also transf. and fig. 3. A dramatic composition for this kind of entertainment 1605.Ü 4. A set of masquers-1625. . . . 4.a. Arch., etc. A (grotesque) head or face in stone, used in panels, keystones of arches, etc.; also, in metal on a shield. Also, a kind of corbel the shadow of which is like a manís profile. 1731. . . . c. Fortif. A screen to protect men working, to conceal a battery, etc.; also, a casemated redoubt serving as a counterguard to the caponier. . . . e. Photogr. A piece of opaque paper used to cover any part of a negative,
lanternslide, or print which it is desired to obscure or shade 1876.
--Oxford English Dictionary