pre·​tend·​er pri-ˈten-dər How to pronounce pretender (audio)
: one that pretends: such as
: one who lays claim to something
specifically : a claimant to a throne who is held to have no just title
: one who makes a false or hypocritical show

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 In any previous decade, he would have been dismissed as an inexperienced pretender. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 2 May 2024 For Atlanticists, most of them aging men but with no shortage of youthful pretenders among them, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been the equivalent of a blood transfusion. Thomas Meaney, Harper's Magazine, 26 Apr. 2024 After two games played in South Korea last week, the schedule begins stateside in earnest tomorrow (March 29), with the Texas Rangers aiming to defend their World Series championship against the usual slate of contenders and pretenders. Daniel Kohn, SPIN, 27 Mar. 2024 To go along with the pretender aesthetic, a lot of the parts under the glass are fake. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 14 July 2023 Friends turn into enemies and enemies become friends, among politicians and pretenders. Laurel Rosenhall, Los Angeles Times, 29 Feb. 2024 Theme of the season: Conference race The leaders won, the pretenders lost and separation continued on the top shelf of the standings. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 19 Feb. 2024 There have been interim pretenders to the throne, some more successful than others. USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2024 Why a core, aging at that, that’s won four championships gets run over by contenders and out-hustled by pretenders not only physically, but mentally. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, 16 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pretender.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pretender was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near pretender

Cite this Entry

“Pretender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​tend·​er pri-ˈten-dər How to pronounce pretender (audio)
: a person who pretends
: a person who claims a throne without right

More from Merriam-Webster on pretender

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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