American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To give a false appearance of; feign: "You had to pretend conformity while privately pursuing high and dangerous nonconformism” ( Anthony Burgess).
- v. To claim or allege insincerely or falsely; profess: doesn't pretend to be an expert.
- v. To represent fictitiously in play; make believe: pretended they were on a cruise.
- v. To take upon oneself; venture: I cannot pretend to say that you are wrong.
- v. To feign an action or character, as in play.
- v. To put forward a claim.
- v. To make pretensions: pretends to gourmet tastes.
- adj. Informal Imitation; make-believe: pretend money; pretend pearls.
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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To lay a claim to; to allege a title to; to claim.
- v. rare To hold before, or put forward, as a cloak or disguise for something else; to exhibit as a veil for something hidden.
- 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.
- v. obsolete To intend; to design; to plot; to attempt.
- v. obsolete To hold before one; to extend.
- 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
- v. To hold out the appearance of being, possessing, or performing; to profess; to make believe; to feign; to sham.
- 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
- 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)
- Middle English pretenden, from Old French pretendre, from Latin praetendere : prae-, pre- + tendere, to extend. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They are about "Theocracy" or getting whatever fossil they have designated the power to dictate to everybody whatever spew he wishes to pretend is the word of "god".”
“What you idiots pretend is that this was some sort of isolated incident that was not supported by the governments.”
“So, typically, I tried to find something that I can at least pretend is a bit healthier, like grilled chicken wraps.”
“Insurance companies hate to pay for water damage and will often deny anything they can pretend is water damage.”
“The GE soy and corn on the market, which the FDA continues to pretend is just the same as the natural stuff, also has higher levels of allergens, and has been linked to numerous disorders.”
“She said in pretend-shock, and then stuck her tongue out at him playfully.”
“The problem is that people like McCain pretend they only support Amnesty for people who have been hear 20 years, and then write legislation giving Amnesty to someone who has been here for 20 minutes”
“No — we must treat this as the dysfunction that we pretend is functional.”
“My parents have seen the type of racism in this country that most pretend is completely gone and that we only now generally see in books and movies.”
“She found that, among other behaviors, these children engaged in pretend reading and writing and had parents or caretakers who read to them.”
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