or pretence noun Etymology: Middle English, probably modification of Medieval Latin pretensio, irregular from Latin praetendere Date: 15th century 1. a claim made or implied; especially one not supported by fact 2. a. mere ostentation ; pretentiousness <
confuse dignity with pomposity and pretense — Bennett Cerf
b. a pretentious act or assertion 3. an inadequate or insincere attempt to attain a certain condition or quality 4. professed rather than real intention or purpose ; pretext <
was there under false pretenses
5. make-believe, fiction 6. false show ; simulation <
saw through his pretense of indifference

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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