- To pretend is defined as to claim, to make believe or imitate.
- An example of to pretend is to say that you don't know the source of a mistruth.
- An example of to pretend is a little girl dressing up like a fairy.
- An example of to pretend is a gay man bringing a woman home to his parents and acting like she's his girlfriend.
pretend definition by Webster's New World
- to claim; profess; allege: to pretend ignorance of the law
- to claim or profess falsely; feign; simulate: to pretend anger
- to make believe, as in play: to pretend to be astronauts
Origin: Middle English pretenden, to intend ; from Middle French pretendre ; from Classical Latin praetendere, to hold forth, allege ; from prae-, before plush tendere, to stretch: see thin
- to lay claim: to pretend to a throne
- to make believe in play or in an attempt to deceive; feign
pretend definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb pre·tend·ed, pre·tend·ing, pre·tends verb, transitive
- To give a false appearance of; feign: “You had to pretend conformity while privately pursuing high and dangerous nonconformism” (Anthony Burgess).
- To claim or allege insincerely or falsely; profess: doesn't pretend to be an expert.
- To represent fictitiously in play; make believe: pretended they were on a cruise.
- To take upon oneself; venture: I cannot pretend to say that you are wrong.
- To feign an action or character, as in play.
- To put forward a claim.
- To make pretensions: pretends to gourmet tastes.
Origin: Middle English pretenden, from Old French pretendre, from Latin praetendere : prae-, pre- + tendere, to extend; see ten- in Indo-European roots.