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pretense

noun pre·tense \ˈprē-ˌten(t)s, pri-ˈ\

Simple Definition of pretense

  • : a false reason or explanation that is used to hide the real purpose of something

  • : an act or appearance that looks real but is false

  • : a claim of having a particular quality, ability, condition, etc.

Full Definition of pretense

  1. 1 :  a claim made or implied; especially :  one not supported by fact

  2. 2 a :  mere ostentation :  pretentiousness <confuse dignity with pomposity and pretense — Bennett Cerf> b :  a pretentious act or assertion

  3. 3 :  an inadequate or insincere attempt to attain a certain condition or quality

  4. 4 :  professed rather than real intention or purpose :  pretext <was there under false pretenses>

  5. 5 :  make-believe, fiction

  6. 6 :  false show :  simulation <saw through his pretense of indifference>

Examples of pretense

  1. We tried to keep up the pretense that everything was fine.

  2. Their indifference is merely pretense.



Variants of pretense

or pre·tence play \ˈprē-ˌten(t)s, pri-ˈ\

Origin of pretense

Middle English, probably modification of Medieval Latin pretensio, irregular from Latin praetendere


First Known Use: 15th century



PRETENSE Defined for Kids

pretense

play
noun pre·tense \ˈprē-ˌtens, pri-ˈtens\

Definition of pretense

  1. 1 :  an act or appearance that looks real but is false <He made a pretense of studying.>

  2. 2 :  an effort to reach a certain condition or quality <His report makes no pretense at completeness.>



Variants of pretense

or pre·tence \ˈprē-ˌtens, pri-ˈtens\


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