to take on (adopt, wear, strike a pose or appearance of) -- often while pretending or disguising
You assumed some name, I suppose, on board ship?
I looked as grateful as any boy possibly could, who was wholly uninformed why he ought to assume that expression.
For a moment, with the fear of my sister’s working me before my eyes, I had a desperate idea of starting round the room in the assumed character of Mr. Pumblechook’s chaise-cart.
Mr. Camilla interposing, as Mrs. Camilla laid her hand upon her heaving bosom, that lady assumed an unnatural fortitude of manner which I supposed to be expressive of an intention to drop and choke when out of view, and kissing her hand to Miss Havisham, was escorted forth.
However, I came into town on the Monday night to be ready for Joe, and I got up early in the morning, and caused the sitting-room and breakfast-table to assume their most splendid appearance.
Her countenance immediately assumed a knitted and intent expression as if she had been reading for a week, but before she could have read half a dozen lines, she fixed her eyes upon me, and said, "I hope your mamma is quite well?"
"This is very curious!" said I, with the best assumption I could put on of its being nothing more to me.
It was with considerable difficulty that I won him over to the assumption of a dress more like a prosperous farmer’s; and we arranged that he should cut his hair close, and wear a little powder.
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She assumed the identify of her victim until the body was found.