pretext

noun
pre·​text | \ ˈprē-ˌtekst How to pronounce pretext (audio) \

Definition of pretext

: a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs

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Choose the Right Synonym for pretext

apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances. said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position. his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure. used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy. her usual plea that she was nearsighted pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation. used any pretext to get out of work alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation. his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

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 on the Web

Police in those states are now unsure whether their age-old pretext for searching cars ─ the smell of pot ─ is still valid. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "'I feel lucky, for real': How legalizing hemp accidentally helped marijuana suspects," 18 Aug. 2019 Launching wars that offer no real or lasting promise of victory with whatever pretext is at hand. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Mayor Pete’s Foreign Policy: One Good Idea and Lots of Bad Ones," 13 June 2019 Vogel testified that Drake, Johnson and the third suspect planned the drug deal as a pretext for a robbery. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Man was shot by masked robber during Huntsville drug deal, cop testifies," 21 Aug. 2019 Largely uncelebrated in its native land, Cinco de Mayo is mostly a rickety pretext for tequila-fueled parties north of the border. Jeremy Bagott, WSJ, "America Is at the End of the Lime," 2 May 2019 Solution 2 If the twins distrust each other, each knows that the other will rat them out on the slightest pretext. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Triumph or Cooperation in Game Theory and Evolution’," 8 Dec. 2017 The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president’s wishes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe sues over his firing," 8 Aug. 2019 The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president's wishes. Eric Tucker, Fortune, "Ex-FBI Official Andrew McCabe Sues Over His Firing," 8 Aug. 2019 The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president's wishes. CBS News, "Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe sues FBI over his firing," 8 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of pretext

circa 1538, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pretext

Latin praetextus, from praetexere to assign as a pretext, screen, extend in front, from prae- + texere to weave — more at technical

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Statistics for pretext

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pretext

The first known use of pretext was circa 1538

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More Definitions for pretext

pretext

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pretext

: a reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something

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More from Merriam-Webster on pretext

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pretext

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pretext

Spanish Central: Translation of pretext

Nglish: Translation of pretext for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pretext for Arabic Speakers

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