Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To give a false appearance of; feign: "You had to pretend conformity while privately pursuing high and dangerous nonconformism” ( Anthony Burgess).
  • transitive v. To claim or allege insincerely or falsely; profess: doesn't pretend to be an expert.
  • transitive v. To represent fictitiously in play; make believe: pretended they were on a cruise.
  • transitive v. To take upon oneself; venture: I cannot pretend to say that you are wrong.
  • intransitive v. To feign an action or character, as in play.
  • intransitive v. To put forward a claim.
  • intransitive v. To make pretensions: pretends to gourmet tastes.
  • adj. Informal Imitation; make-believe: pretend money; pretend pearls.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make oneself appear to do or be doing something; to engage in make-believe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To put in, or make, a claim, truly or falsely; to allege a title; to lay claim to, or strive after, something; -- usually with to.
  • intransitive v. To hold out the appearance of being, possessing, or performing; to profess; to make believe; to feign; to sham.
  • transitive v. To lay a claim to; to allege a title to; to claim.
  • transitive v. To hold before, or put forward, as a cloak or disguise for something else; to exhibit as a veil for something hidden.
  • transitive v. To hold out, or represent, falsely; to put forward, or offer, as true or real (something untrue or unreal); to show hypocritically, or for the purpose of deceiving; to simulate; to feign.
  • transitive v. To intend; to design; to plot; to attempt.
  • transitive v. To hold before one; to extend.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hold out before one or in front; stretch forward; hence, to put before one for action, consideration, or acceptance; offer; present.
  • To put forward as a statement or an assertion; especially, to allege or declare falsely or with intent to deceive.
  • To put forward as a reason or excuse; use as a pretext; allege as a ground or reason; hence, to put forward a false appearance of; simulate; counterfeit; feign.
  • To lay claim to; assert as a right or possession; claim.
  • To aspire to; attempt; undertake.
  • To intend; design; plan; plot.
  • To presage; portend; forebode.
  • To stretch or reach forward; aim; aspire: often with to.
  • To lay claim; assert a right of ownership or possession: generally followed by to.
  • To make pretense; make believe; counterfeit or feign.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
  • v. put forward a claim and assert right or possession of
  • n. the enactment of a pretense
  • adj. imagined as in a play
  • v. make believe with the intent to deceive
  • v. represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like
  • v. behave unnaturally or affectedly
  • v. state insincerely

Etymologies

Middle English pretenden, from Old French pretendre, from Latin praetendere : prae-, pre- + tendere, to extend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman pretendre, Middle French pretendre (French prétendre ("to claim, demand")), from Latin praetendere, present active infinitive of praetendō ("put forward, hold out, pretend"), from prae- ("pre-") + tendō ("stretch"); see tend. (Wiktionary)

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