early 15c., "the putting forth of a claim," from M.Fr. pretensse
, from fem. of L.L. prætensus,
from L. prætensus
, pp. of prætendere
). Meaning "false or hypocritical profession" is from 1540s. Pretension
is c.1600 meaning "assertion;" sense of "ostentation" is from 1727.