Pretext definition

prētĕkst
A reason or excuse given to hide the real reason for something.
noun
6
0
A cover-up; front.
noun
5
2

The reporter called the company on the pretext of trying to resolve a consumer complaint.

noun
3
0
A false reason or motive put forth to hide the real one; excuse.
noun
3
1
To employ a pretext, which involves using a false or contrived purpose for soliciting the gain of something else.

The spy obtained his phone records using possibly-illegal pretexting methods.

verb
2
3
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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.

noun
0
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
pretext
Plural:
pretexts

Origin of pretext

  • Latin praetextum from neuter past participle of praetexere to disguise prae- pre- texere to weave teks- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French prétexte, from Latin praetextum (“an ornament, etc., wrought in front, a pretense"), neuter of praetextus, past participle of praetexere (“to weave before, fringe or border, allege").

    From Wiktionary