Thesaurus

pretension

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of pretension

1 an entitlement to something
  • a pretension of long standing to the throne of Hungary

Synonyms for pretension

Words Related to pretension

Near Antonyms for pretension

2 an exaggerated sense of one's importance that shows itself in the making of excessive or unjustified claims
  • a woman full of pretension and pompousness

Synonyms for pretension

Words Related to pretension

Near Antonyms for pretension

Antonyms for pretension

4 something that one hopes or intends to accomplish
  • has serious pretensions of becoming a writer

Synonyms for pretension

Words Related to pretension

Phrases Synonymous with pretension

Near Antonyms for pretension

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About pretension

How is the word pretension different from other nouns like it?

The words ambition and aspiration are common synonyms of pretension. While all three words mean "strong desire for advancement," pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption.

has literary pretensions

When would ambition be a good substitute for pretension?

The words ambition and pretension can be used in similar contexts, but ambition applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire.

driven by ambition

In what contexts can aspiration take the place of pretension?

While in some cases nearly identical to pretension, aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself.

an aspiration to become president someday

Learn More About pretension

Time Traveler for pretension

Time Traveler

The first known use of pretension was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near pretension

pretenses

pretension

pretensions

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Pretension.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/pretension. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on pretension

Nglish: Translation of pretension for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pretension for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!