Definitions

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

  • noun A reason or excuse given to hide the real reason for something.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To use as a pretext, or cloak or covering; assume as a means of concealment.
  • noun That which is assumed as a cloak or means of concealment; something under cover of which a true purpose is hidden; an ostensible reason, motive, or occasion; a pretense.
  • noun Synonyms Pretension, etc. See pretense.

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

  • noun Ostensible reason or motive assigned or assumed as a color or cover for the real reason or motive; pretense; disguise.

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

  • noun A false, contrived or assumed purpose; a pretense.
  • verb To employ a pretext, which involves using a false or contrived purpose for soliciting the gain of something else.

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

  • noun an artful or simulated semblance
  • noun something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason

Etymologies

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

[Latin praetextum, from neuter past participle of praetexere, to disguise : prae-, pre- + texere, to weave; see teks- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French prétexte, from Latin praetextum ("an ornament, etc., wrought in front, a pretense"), neuter of praetextus, past participle of praetexere ("to weave before, fringe or border, allege").

Examples

  • Valiavichareska said students never planned to disrupt finals, which she called a pretext for ousting the students.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • So the Inauguration, cause or pretext is as good a reason as any other to stop.

    Let Go | ATTACKERMAN

  • The conflict over the caricatures, like almost any other of a religious nature or pretext, is childish and trivial and should be a work of fiction.

    Totem And Task

  • They looked for that pretext from the first moment that they had the first excuse to.

    1350th Day - :: gia’s blog ::

  • Till the passions of the mind in man and woman are separate and distinct, till the sex of vital animation, denominated soul, be ascertained, on what pretext is woman deprived of those amusements which man is permitted to enjoy?

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

  • Till the passions of the mind in man and woman are separate and distinct, till the sex of vital animation, denominated soul, be ascertained, on what pretext is woman deprived of those amusements which man is permitted to enjoy?

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

  • What types of reasons for discrimination constitute a "pretext" -- a cover-up -- when it comes to employer reasons for gender identity discrimination?

    The Bilerico Project

  • What types of reasons for discrimination constitute a "pretext" -- a cover-up -- when it comes to employer reasons for gender identity discrimination?

    The Bilerico Project

  • What types of reasons for discrimination constitute a "pretext" -- a cover-up -- when it comes to employer reasons for gender identity discrimination?

    The Bilerico Project

  • What types of reasons for discrimination constitute a "pretext" -- a cover-up -- when it comes to employer reasons for gender identity discrimination?

    The Bilerico Project

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