Definitions for: Pretense

[n] the act of giving a false appearance; "his conformity was only pretending"
[n] an artful or simulated semblance; "under the guise of friendship he betrayed them"
[n] a false or unsupportable quality
[n] imaginative intellectual play
[n] pretending with intention to deceive

Webster (1913) Definition: 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.

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

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

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.

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

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

4. Intention; design. [Obs.]

A very pretense and purpose of unkindness. --Shak.

Note: See the Note under Offense.

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.

Synonyms: dissembling, feigning, feigning, guise, make-believe, pretence, pretence, pretence, pretence, pretending, pretension, pretext, simulation

See Also: affectation, appearance, artificiality, bluff, color, colour, deceit, deceit, deception, deception, dissembling, dissimulation, hypocrisy, imagery, imagination, imaging, lip service, make-believe, mannerism, masquerade, mental imagery, misrepresentation, pose, pretext, semblance, show, stalking-horse

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