- The definition of pretentious is someone or something that claims to be very important or grand.
An example of pretentious is someone saying they deserve a table in a crowded restaurant because of who they are.
- making claims, explicit or implicit, to some distinction, importance, dignity, or excellence
- affectedly grand; ostentatious
Origin of pretentiousFrench prétentieux ; from prétention, pretension + -eux, -ous
- Claiming that or behaving as if one is important or deserving of merit when such is not the case: a pretentious socialite.
- Showing or betraying an attitude of superiority: made pretentious remarks about his education.
- Marked by an extravagant or presumptuous outward show; ostentatious: a pretentious house. See Synonyms at showy.
(comparative more pretentious, superlative most pretentious)
Note that pretentious is spelled with a ‘t’ (-tious), unlike related pretense, pretension. This is due to the French spelling: *-sious does not occur as an English suffix, though -sion and -tion both do.