pre·tend·er | \pri-ˈten-dər \

Definition of pretender 

: one that pretends: such as

a : one who lays claim to something specifically : a claimant to a throne who is held to have no just title

b : one who makes a false or hypocritical show

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Examples of pretender in a Sentence

it turns out that the guy who claimed to work for a modeling agency was just a pretender

Recent Examples on the Web

That’s why almost all the mangoes in American markets are the fine-looking but bland, fibrous pretenders from Florida, Brazil or Mexico, not the storied ones of India. Chandrahas Choudhury, WSJ, "On the Great Indian Mango Trail," 6 July 2018 The difference between contenders and pretenders was very noticeable from the start. Juan Pimiento,, "Real Madrid, Juve advance in Champions League and the best of the week in soccer," 8 Mar. 2018 At this time of the season, there’s not much clarity to differentiating between the contenders and pretenders, which could create more suitors, especially among those underachieving teams out there such as the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Taking a hard — and realistic look — at the Orioles' trade possibilities with Manny Machado," 28 May 2018 Her husband, Adhéaume, served in the retinue of Henri d’Artois, Comte de Chambord, Bourbon pretender to the French throne who lived in exile at the grim Schloss in the Austrian village of Frohsdorf. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘Proust’s Duchess’ Review: The Guermantes Trio," 5 July 2018 The Wall Street Journal unmasked this great pretender on Thursday. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "The Greatest Royal Wedding Scammer Has Come Clean," 1 June 2018 Hungary’s semi-final opponents were Uruguay; the reigning champions versus the pretenders to the crown., "World Cup Countdown: 7 Days to Go - What if Ferenc Puskas Had Been Fully Fit?," 7 June 2018 Rick Nichols, the esteemed Inquirer food columnist emeritus, is always the Brewvi’s favorite curmudgeon, with a fondness for classic finesse and a sharp wit to keep the trendy pretenders in check. Craig Laban,, "A panel of experts in beer and wit," 10 May 2018 That trait is the biggest reason the Trailblazers went from a pretender to champion over the last three months. Eric Sondheimer,, "Sierra Canyon claims Open championship," 25 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pretender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pretender

1583, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for pretender

Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for pretender

The first known use of pretender was in 1583

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More Definitions for pretender



English Language Learners Definition of pretender

: someone who claims to have the right to a particular title or position (such as king or queen) when others do not agree

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Comments on pretender

What made you want to look up pretender? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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