- 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.
To pretend is defined as to claim, to make believe or imitate.
- 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 children's play: to pretend to be astronauts
Origin of pretendMiddle English pretenden, to intend ; from Middle French pretendre ; from Classical Latin praetendere, to hold forth, allege ; from prae-, before + 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
Informal make-believe: pretend jewelry
verbpre·tend·ed, pre·tend·ing, pre·tends
- 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: 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 lay claim: pretends to gourmet tastes.
Imitation; make-believe: pretend money; pretend pearls.
Origin of pretendMiddle English pretenden, from Old French pretendre, from Latin praetendere : prae-, pre- + tendere, to extend; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present pretends, present participle pretending, simple past and past participle pretended)
- To claim, allege, especially when falsely or as a form of deliberate deception. [from 14th c.]
- To feign, affect (a state, quality, etc.). [from 15th c.]
- To lay claim to (an ability, status, advantage, etc.). [from 15th c.] (originally used without to)
- To make oneself appear to do or be doing something; to engage in make-believe.
- This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.