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pretext

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noun pre·text \ˈprē-ˌtekst\

Simple Definition of pretext

  • : a reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pretext

  1. :  a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs

Examples of pretext in a sentence

  1. She went back to her friend's house on the pretext that she had forgotten her purse.



Origin of pretext

Latin praetextus, from praetexere to assign as a pretext, screen, extend in front, from prae- + texere to weave — more at technical


First Known Use: 1513

Synonym Discussion of pretext

apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances <said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could>. apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position <his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy>. excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure <used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting>. plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy <her usual plea that she was nearsighted>. pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation <used any pretext to get out of work>. alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation <his alibi failed to stand scrutiny>.



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