Pretence
Pretense Pre*tense", Pretence Pre*tence, n. [LL. praetensus, for L. praetentus, p. p. of praetendere. See {Pretend}, and cf. {Tension}.] 1. The act of laying claim; the claim laid; assumption; pretension. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Primogeniture can not have any pretense to a right of solely inheriting property or power. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

I went to Lambeth with Sir R. Brown's pretense to the wardenship of Merton College, Oxford. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster]

2. The act of holding out, or offering, to others something false or feigned; presentation of what is deceptive or hypocritical; deception by showing what is unreal and concealing what is real; false show; simulation; as, pretense of illness; under pretense of patriotism; on pretense of revenging C[ae]sar's death. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is pretended; false, deceptive, or hypocritical show, argument, or reason; pretext; feint. [1913 Webster]

Let not the Trojans, with a feigned pretense Of proffered peace, delude the Latian prince. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Intention; design. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

A very pretense and purpose of unkindness. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: See the {Note} under {Offense}. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Mask; appearance; color; show; pretext; excuse.

Usage: {Pretense}, {Pretext}. A pretense is something held out as real when it is not so, thus falsifying the truth. A pretext is something woven up in order to cover or conceal one's true motives, feelings, or reasons. Pretext is often, but not always, used in a bad sense. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pretence — (US pretense) ► NOUN 1) an act or the action of pretending. 2) affected and ostentatious behaviour. 3) (pretence to) a claim, especially a false or ambitious one …   English terms dictionary

  • Pretence — Pre*tence , n., Pretenceful Pre*tence ful, a., Pretenceless Pre*tence *less, a. See {Pretense}, {Pretenseful}, {Pretenseless}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pretence — The usual AmE spelling is pretense …   Modern English usage

  • pretence — [prē tens′, pritens′; prē′tens΄] n. Brit. sp. of PRETENSE …   English World dictionary

  • pretence — n. see also pretense simulation false show 1) to make a pretence (he made no pretence of being objective) 2) to see through smb. s pretence 3) under a pretence (under the pretence of patriotism; under false pretences) 4) without pretence (a… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • pretence — (BrE) (AmE pretense) noun ADJECTIVE ▪ elaborate ▪ It was all an elaborate pretence. ▪ flimsy, slight ▪ There is not even the slightest pretence of trying to make it realistic …   Collocations dictionary

  • pretence — pre|tence BrE pretense AmE [prıˈtens US ˈpri:tens] n [singular,U] 1.) a way of behaving which is intended to make people believe something that is not true pretence that ▪ the pretence that the old system could be made to work pretence of/at… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pretence — also pretense AmE noun (singular, uncountable) 1 an attempt to pretend that something is true (+ that): Susie abandoned the pretence that she didn t want to go to the party. | keep up the pretence of being/doing sth: How long are you going to… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • pretence — UK [prɪˈtens] / US [ˈprɪˌtens] / US [prɪˈtens] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms pretence : singular pretence plural pretences a way of behaving that does not honestly express your real feelings, thoughts, or intentions She said she was… …   English dictionary

  • pretence — [[t]prɪte̱ns, AM pri͟ːtens[/t]] pretences (in AM, use pretense) 1) N VAR A pretence is an action or way of behaving that is intended to make people believe something that is not true. Welland made a pretence of writing a note in his pad... We… …   English dictionary

  • pretence — noun 1. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) pretending or feigning; make believe: my sleepiness was all pretence. 2. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) a false show of something: a pretence of friendship. 3. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) a piece of make believe.… …   Australian English dictionary

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