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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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Word Origin and History for pretenseless

pretense

n.

also pretence, early 15c., "the putting forth of a claim," from Anglo-French pretensse, Middle French pretensse (Modern French prétense), from Medieval Latin noun use of fem. of Late Latin praetensus, altered from Latin praetentus, past participle of praetendere (see pretend). Meaning "false or hypocritical profession" is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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