- The definition of a pretext is an excuse or a cover up for the truth.
An example of a pretext is a person saying that she is having a small family dinner at home while a group of people are waiting there to surprise her father for his birthday.
pretext definition by Webster's New World
- a false reason or motive put forth to hide the real one; excuse
- a cover-up; front
Origin: Classical Latin praetextum, neuter of praetextus, past participle of praetexere, to weave before, pretend: see pre- and amp; texture
pretext definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- An ostensible or professed purpose; an excuse.
- An effort or strategy intended to conceal something.
Origin: Latin praetextum, from neuter past participle of praetexere, to disguise : prae-, pre- + texere, to weave; see teks- in Indo-European roots.