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pretense

[pri-tens, pree-tens] /prɪˈtɛns, ˈpri tɛns/
noun
1.
pretending or feigning; make-believe:
My sleepiness was all pretense.
2.
a false show of something:
a pretense of friendship.
3.
a piece of make-believe.
4.
the act of pretending or alleging falsely.
5.
a false allegation or justification:
He excused himself from the lunch on a pretense of urgent business.
6.
insincere or false profession:
His pious words were mere pretense.
7.
the putting forth of an unwarranted claim.
8.
the claim itself.
9.
any allegation or claim:
to obtain money under false pretenses.
10.
pretension (usually followed by to):
destitute of any pretense to wit.
Also, especially British, pretence.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin *praetēnsa, noun use of feminine of praetēnsus, past participle (replacing Latin praetentus) of praetendere to pretend
Related forms
pretenseful, adjective
pretenseless, adjective
Can be confused
pretense, pretext.
Synonyms
1. shamming. 2. semblance. 3. mask, veil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for pretense
  • He is device to show conventional logic and its erroneous pretense.
  • It is also the home of the excuse, the pretense, and the means of avoiding reality.
  • They do so without glamour, pretense or agents, as they have for millions of years.
  • He makes no pretense to being an orator.
  • The show makes only a slight pretense of being an athletic competition.
  • Then again, I was raised under the pretense that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.
  • There was never any pretense.
  • Reductionist and highly political, but with a pretense of objectivity.
  • With Babywatch, families can abandon all pretense of trust in their nannies.
  • And we can wear jeans to work without the pretense of casual Friday or other nonsense pseudo-awards.
British Dictionary definitions for pretense

pretence

/prɪˈtɛns/
noun
1.
the act of pretending
2.
a false display; affectation
3.
a claim, esp a false one, to a right, title, or distinction
4.
make-believe or feigning
5.
a false claim or allegation; pretext
6.
a less common word for pretension (sense 3)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pretense
pretense
early 15c., "the putting forth of a claim," from M.Fr. pretensse, from fem. of L.L. prætensus, from L. prætensus, pp. of prætendere (see pretend). Meaning "false or hypocritical profession" is from 1540s. Pretension is c.1600 meaning "assertion;" sense of "ostentation" is from 1727.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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