Definition of pretext
: a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs
Examples of pretext in a Sentence
She went back to her friend's house on the pretext that she had forgotten her purse.
Recent Examples of pretext from the Web
Police said that, from June 2016 through February 2017, Rilling signed out heroin, OxyContin pills and cocaine from the department's evidence room on the false pretext of needing to have the drugs tested, then used them to feed his own drug habit.
The Governor of Arkansas claimed that federal troops were leering in girls’ bathrooms on the pretext of protecting black students, a charge the White House vehemently denied.
Using the pretext of safety violations, the Chinese authorities closed half of the 112 stores operated in China by the South Korean conglomerate Lotte, and the company’s website was hacked.
To be sure, a decision to move the embassy could serve as a pretext for attacks by groups like al Qaeda.
Microsoft can’t use the security exemption as a pretext for broadly keeping details about its software secret, lawyers said.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pretext'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of pretext
PRETEXT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pretext for English Language Learners
: a reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something
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