Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Claiming that or behaving as if one is important or deserving of merit when such is not the case.
  • adjective Showing or betraying an attitude of superiority.
  • adjective Marked by an extravagant or presumptuous outward show; ostentatious: synonym: showy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pretended; unfounded; false.
  • Full of pretension, or claims to greater excellence or importance than the truth warrants; attempting to pass for more than the actual worth or importance; making an exaggerated outward show.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Full of pretension; disposed to lay claim to more than is one's; presuming; assuming.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction.
  • adjective Ostentatious; intended to impress others.

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

  • adjective making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
  • adjective (of a display) tawdry or vulgar
  • adjective intended to attract notice and impress others

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French prétentieux, from prétention, from Latin praetensus ("false or hypocritical profession"), past participle of praetendō.

Examples

Comments

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  • Pretentious? Moi?

    - great line from Eddie Murphy

    June 26, 2008

  • Which he stole from the incomparable Fawlty Towers, "The Psychiatrist" episode.

    June 26, 2008

  • Can't be that incomparable, I can't even remember it! I remember most of them, but that one not.

    June 26, 2008