Pretense meaning

prē'tĕns', prĭ-tĕns'
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.

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A claim or assertion to a right, especially a false one.
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Pretentiousness; ostentation.
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Something imagined or pretended.
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A claim, esp. an unsupported one, as to some distinction or accomplishment; pretension.
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A false claim or profession.
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A false show of something.
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A pretending, as at play; make-believe.
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Aim; intention.
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A pretentious act or remark.
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(US) A false or hypocritical profession, as, under pretense of friendliness.
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Intention or purpose not real but professed.

Without pretense of accuracy.

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An unsupported claim made or implied.
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An insincere attempt to reach a specific condition or quality.
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A false reason or plea; pretext.
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Origin of pretense

  • 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 pretend
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle French pretensse, from Late Latin prætensus, past participle of prætendere (“to pretend"), from præ- (“before") + tendere (“to stretch"); see pretend.
    From Wiktionary