Pretense
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pretense — 1 pretension, Claim, title Analogous words: plea, pretext, excuse, *apology, apologia: *right, birthright, privilege 2 Pretense, pretension, make believe are comparable though seldom interchangeable when they involve the idea of offering… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pretense — I (ostentation) noun affectation, affectedness, airs, artificiality, blatancy, bravado, demonstration, display, empty show, false appearance, false show, fanfaronade, flagrancy, flashiness, flourish, fuss, garishness, gaudiness, glare, glitter,… …   Law dictionary

  • Pretense — Pretense, or pretence, may refer to:* Deception * Camouflage * Pretexting or pretext * False pretenses, in criminal law * Pretense (Stargate SG 1) , an episode of the television series Stargate SG 1 …   Wikipedia

  • pretense — (n.) early 15c., the putting forth of a claim, from M.Fr. pretensse, from fem. of L.L. praetensus, from L. praetensus, pp. of praetendere (see PRETEND (Cf. pretend)). Meaning false or hypocritical profession is from 1540s …   Etymology dictionary

  • pretense — [n] falsehood, affected show; cover act, acting, affectation, appearance, artifice, charade, claim, cloak, deceit, deception, display, dissimulation, double dealing*, dumb act*, evasion, excuse, fabrication, facade, fakery, faking, falsification …   New thesaurus

  • pretense — [prē tens′, pritens′; prē′tens΄] n. [ME < Anglo Fr pretensse < ML * pretensa < praetensus, alleged < pp. of L praetendere: see PRETEND] 1. a claim, esp. an unsupported one, as to some distinction or accomplishment; pretension 2. a… …   English World dictionary

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

  • pretense — pre|tense [ pri,tens, prı tens ] noun count or uncount a way of behaving that does not honestly express your real feelings, thoughts, or intentions: She said she was really pleased to see us, but I could tell it was just a pretense. pretense of:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pretense — pretenseful, adj. pretenseless, adj. /pri tens , pree tens/, n. 1. pretending or feigning; make believe: My sleepiness was all pretense. 2. a false show of something: a pretense of friendship. 3. a piece of make believe. 4. the act of pretending… …   Universalium

  • pretense — pre•tense [[t]prɪˈtɛns, ˈpri tɛns[/t]] n. 1) a false show of something; semblance: a pretense of friendship[/ex] 2) a pretending or feigning; make believe: My sleepiness was all pretense[/ex] 3) the act of pretending or alleging falsely 4) an… …   From formal English to slang

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