noun \ˈprē-ˌtekst\

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

Full Definition of PRETEXT

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

Examples of PRETEXT

  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


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