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pretext

[pree-tekst] /ˈpri tɛkst/
noun
1.
something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse:
The leaders used the insults as a pretext to declare war.
2.
the misleading appearance or behavior assumed with this intention:
His many lavish compliments were a pretext for subtle mockery.
Origin of pretext
1505-1515
1505-15; < Latin praetextum pretext, ornament, noun use of neuter past participle of praetexere to pretend, literally, to weave in front, hence, adorn. See pre-, texture
Can be confused
pretense, pretext.
Synonyms
2. subterfuge, evasion.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for pretext

pretext

/ˈpriːtɛkst/
noun
1.
a fictitious reason given in order to conceal the real one
2.
a specious excuse; pretence
Word Origin
C16: from Latin praetextum disguise, from praetexere to weave in front, disguise; see texture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pretext
n.

1510s, from French prétexte, from Latin praetextum "a pretext, outward display," noun use of neuter past participle of praetexere "to disguise, cover," literally "weave in front" (for sense, cf. pull the wool over (someone's) eyes); from prae- "in front" (see pre-) + texere "to weave," from PIE root *tek- "make" (see texture (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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