adjective Etymology: French prétentieux, from prétention pretension, from Medieval Latin pretention-, pretentio, from Latin praetendere Date: 1832 1. characterized by pretension: as a. making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) <
the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him — Richard Watts
b. expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature <
pretentious language
pretentious houses
2. making demands on one's skill, ability, or means ; ambitious <
the pretentious daring of the Green Mountain Boys in crossing the lake — American Guide Series: Vermont
Synonyms: see showypretentiously adverbpretentiousness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pretentious — Pre*ten tious, a. [Cf. F. pr[ e]tentieux. See {Pretend}.] Full of pretension; disposed to lay claim to more than is one s; presuming; assuming. {Pre*ten tious*ly}, adv. {Pre*ten tious*ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pretentious — I (ostentatious) adjective adorned, artificial, bespangled, brassy, conspicuous, decorated, embellished, flamboyant, flashy, fulgent, fulgid, garish, gaudy, iactans, meretricious, ornamented, ornate, ornatus, overly decorated, showy, superficial …   Law dictionary

  • pretentious — (adj.) 1845, from Fr. prétentieux (17c.), from prétention pretension, from M.L. pretentionem (nom. pretentio) pretension, from L.L. prætensus pretend (see PRETENSE (Cf. pretense)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pretentious — 1 *showy, ostentatious Analogous words: *gaudy, garish, flashy: *ornate, flamboyant, florid, baroque, rococo Antonyms: unpretentious 2 *ambitious, Utopian Analogous words: aiming, aspiring, panting (see …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pretentious — [adj] snobbish, conceited affected, arty, assuming, aureate, big*, bombastic, chichi*, conspicuous, euphuistic, exaggerated, extravagant, feigned, flamboyant, flashy, flaunting, flowery, gaudy, grandiloquent, grandiose, highfaluting*, high flown* …   New thesaurus

  • pretentious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed. DERIVATIVES pretentiously adverb pretentiousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • pretentious — [prē ten′shəs, priten′shəs] adj. [Fr prétentieux < prétention, pretension + eux, OUS] 1. making claims, explicit or implicit, to some distinction, importance, dignity, or excellence 2. affectedly grand; ostentatious pretentiously adv.… …   English World dictionary

  • pretentious — pre|ten|tious [ prı tenʃəs ] adjective behaving in a way that is intended to impress other people but seems false or too deliberate: It s so pretentious of her to greet everyone in French. a. used about someone s behavior or attitude: a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pretentious — [[t]prɪte̱nʃəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you say that someone or something is pretentious, you mean that they try to seem important or significant, but you do not think that they are. His response was full of pretentious nonsense... This… …   English dictionary

  • pretentious — UK [prɪˈtenʃəs] / US adjective showing disapproval behaving in a way that is intended to impress other people but seems false or too deliberate It s so pretentious of her to greet everyone in French. a) used about someone s behaviour or attitude… …   English dictionary

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