1

pretension

play
noun pre·ten·sion \ pri-ˈten(t)-shən \

Definition of pretension

1 :an allegation of doubtful value :pretext
2 :a claim or an effort to establish a claim
3 :a claim or right to attention or honor because of merit
4 :an aspiration or intention that may or may not reach fulfillment
  • has serious literary pretensions

pretensionless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of pretension in a Sentence

  1. He spoke about his achievements without pretension.

  2. I admire his honesty and lack of pretension.

  3. The restaurant offers excellent food without pretension.

Recent Examples of pretension from the Web

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

First Known Use of pretension

15th century

pretension Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of pretension

ambition, aspiration, pretension mean strong desire for advancement. ambition applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire.
    • driven by ambition
aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself.
    • an aspiration to become president someday
pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption.
    • has literary pretensions

2

pretension

play
verb pre·ten·sion \ ˌprē-ˈten(t)-shən \

Definition of pretension

transitive verb

Origin and Etymology of pretension

pre- + 2tension

Other Civil Engineering Terms


PRETENSION Defined for English Language Learners

pretension

play
noun

Definition of pretension for English Language Learners

  • : the unpleasant quality of people who think of themselves as more impressive, successful, or important than they really are

  • : a desire to do something or a claim to be something that is impressive or important



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!