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3 definitions found
 for pretense
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  pretense
      n 1: the act of giving a false appearance; "his conformity was
           only pretending" [syn: pretense, pretence,
           pretending, simulation, feigning]
      2: pretending with intention to deceive [syn: pretense,
         pretence, feigning, dissembling]
      3: imaginative intellectual play [syn: pretense, pretence,
         make-believe]
      4: a false or unsupportable quality [syn: pretension,
         pretense, pretence]
      5: an artful or simulated semblance; "under the guise of
         friendship he betrayed them" [syn: guise, pretense,
         pretence, pretext]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  143 Moby Thesaurus words for "pretense":
     acting, affectation, affectedness, air, airs, airs and graces,
     alibi, apology, appearance, appurtenance, artificiality,
     attitudinizing, authority, birthright, blind, bluff, bluffing,
     charade, cheating, claim, cloak, color, coloring, conjugal right,
     cover, cover story, cover-up, deceit, deception, delusion, demand,
     device, disguise, dissemblance, dissembling, dissimulation,
     divine right, droit, due, excuse, explanation, facade, face,
     faculty, fake, fakery, faking, false air, false front, false show,
     falsity, feigned belief, feigning, feint, four-flushing, fraud,
     front, gilt, gloss, guise, handle, humbug, humbuggery, hypocrisy,
     image, imposture, inalienable right, insincerity, interest,
     lame excuse, locus standi, loftiness, lofty affectations,
     make-believe, mannerism, mask, masquerade, mere show,
     meretriciousness, natural right, ostensible motive, ostent,
     ostentation, ostentatiousness, outward show, pageant, playacting,
     poor excuse, pose, posing, posture, power, prerogative,
     prescription, presumptive right, pretension, pretentiousness,
     pretext, proper claim, property right, protestation,
     prunes and prisms, public image, public motive, put-off, put-on,
     putting on airs, rational ground, rationale, reason, reason for,
     reason why, refuge, representation, right, screen, seeming,
     semblance, sham, show, simulacrum, simulation, smoke screen,
     speciousness, stalking-horse, stated cause, stratagem, stylishness,
     subterfuge, the big idea, the idea, the whatfor, the wherefore,
     the why, title, trick, underlying reason, unnaturalness, varnish,
     veil, vested interest, vested right, window dressing
  
  

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