pre·​tend·​er | \ pri-ˈten-dər How to pronounce pretender (audio) \

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 This series — which began with a 7-2 Padres win — is about sorting out the division and the playoff dominoes that tumble, but it’s also about the bigger picture of a longtime pretender trying to claw into the realm of legitimate contenders. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres keep closing gap on Dodgers as big series roars to life," 14 Sep. 2020 If the team looks more like a playoff pretender, the GM leans toward moving veterans for prospects or standing pat if the right deal doesn't materialize. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers could motivate Stearns to add players before deadline by winning games this week," 24 Aug. 2020 Their favorite team, however, has stunk since Super Bowl 50, and must be considered a pretender, until proven otherwise. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kickin’ It with Kiz: Yes, the national media thinks the Broncos stink. Can you blame ’em?," 16 May 2020 The early rounds dumped and unmasked many of the music pretenders, including a skateboarder (Tony Hawk), two TV hosts (Drew Carey, Tom Bergeron) and an almost-vice president (Sarah Palin). Mike Hughes,, "Best things to watch on TV this week: March 29-April 4," 29 Mar. 2020 Ravens 27, Bengals 13: Cincinnati always gave the Ravens trouble under former coach Marvin Lewis, but these Bengals started the season off as pretenders and have lost even more key pieces along the way., "Ravens vs. Bengals staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s game in Baltimore?," 9 Oct. 2019 The whole lot of you — true contenders and phony pretenders for Eastern Conference supremacy in the NBA — are officially on notice. Chad Finn,, "Sunday showed us Celtics-Lakers in an NBA Finals showdown would be worth it," 24 Feb. 2020 On the evidence of Monday, Inter will be a stern challenge for Juventus and any other pretenders to the Bianconeri's throne., "Cagliari vs Inter Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 29 Aug. 2019 Its annual profits are now double the entire current market value of Deutsche Bank, once Europe’s pretender to the global investment-banking throne. The Economist, "Mission accomplished Should Jamie Dimon, Wall Street’s most celebrated boss, call it a day?," 12 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pretender

Time Traveler

The first known use of pretender was in 1583

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Statistics for pretender

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pretender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce pretender (audio)

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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