pretense[prē tens′, pri-; prē′tens′]
- 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.
- 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 of pretenseMiddle English ; from Anglo-French pretensse ; from Medieval Latin an unverified form pretensa ; from praetensus, alleged ; from past participle of Classical Latin praetendere: see pretend
- a. A false appearance or action intended to deceive: “He ran the back of his hand up her cheek, with the pretense of wiping away sweat” (Jonathan Safran Foer).b. A professed but feigned reason or excuse; a pretext: left the room under the pretense of having to make a phone call.
- Something imagined or pretended: “Ardor had atrophied and weariness had taken its place &ellipsis; their connection was pretense” (Deborah Weisgall).
- a. The quality or state of being pretentious; ostentation: so modest as to be free from any hint of pretense.b. A false or studied show; an affectation: models making a pretense of nonchalance.
- A claim or assertion to a right, especially a false one: “a celebrity with scarcely any pretense to talent or achievement” (Joseph Epstein).
Origin of pretenseMiddle 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.
- (US) A false or hypocritical profession, as, under pretense of friendliness.
- Intention or purpose not real but professed.
- without pretense of accuracy
- An unsupported claim made or implied.
- An insincere attempt to reach a specific condition or quality.
From Middle French pretensse, from Late Latin prÃ¦tensus, past participle of prÃ¦tendere (“to pretend"), from prÃ¦- (“before") + tendere (“to stretch"); see pretend.