- The definition of a pretense is a false impression, a false claim or an attempt to make a falsehood appear true.
- An example of a pretense is when you pretend to be friends with someone you don't like.
- An example of a pretense is when you claim to be an expert in something you aren't.
pretense definition by Webster's New World
- a claim, esp. an unsupported one, as to some distinction or accomplishment; pretension
- a false claim or profession
- a false show of something
- a pretending, as at play; make-believe
- a false reason or plea; pretext
- Rare aim; intention
- pretentiousness; ostentation
- a pretentious act or remark
Origin: Middle English ; from Anglo-French pretensse ; from Midieval Latin an unverified form pretensa ; from praetensus, alleged ; from past participle of Classical Latin praetendere: see pretend
pretense definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The act of pretending; a false appearance or action intended to deceive.
- A false or studied show; an affectation: a pretense of nonchalance.
- A professed but feigned reason or excuse; a pretext: under false pretenses.
- Something imagined or pretended.
- Mere show without reality; outward appearance.
- A right asserted with or without foundation; a claim. See Synonyms at claim.
- The quality or state of being pretentious; ostentation.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French pretensse, from Medieval Latin *praetēnsa, from Late Latin, feminine of praetēnsus, alteration of Latin praetentus, past participle of praetendere, to pretend, assert; see pretend.