Definition of pretense
- confuse dignity with pomposity and pretense
- —Bennett Cerf
- was there under false pretenses
- saw through his pretense of indifference
We tried to keep up the pretense that everything was fine.
Their indifference is merely pretense.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pretense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
arrogance, assumption, bumptiousness, consequence, haughtiness, hauteur, high horse, huffiness, imperiousness, loftiness, lordliness, masterfulness, pomposity, pompousness, presumptuousness, pretension, pretentiousness, self-importance, superciliousness, superiority;
cockiness, complacence, conceit, egoism, egotism, pride, pridefulness, self-assumption, self-centeredness, self-complacency, self-conceit, self-content, self-contentment, self-opinion, self-partiality, self-satisfaction, smugness, swelled head, vanity;
: 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.
What made you want to look up pretense? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
subject to rapid or unexpected change
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