V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1.†insincere or feigned behavior meant to deceive; 2.†an unwarranted or unsupported claim

Synonyms: dishonesty, fabrication, disguise, charade, pretension, false show, excuse, pretext

Antonyms: truth, fact, honesty

Tips: Pretense is often used in a negative sense, as when discussing "false pretenses," which are meant to deceive. Use pretense as a sophisticated way of describing a claim or story meant to deceive. Think of the related word, pretend. When you "put on pretenses," you pretend something is different than it appears. Pretense is similar in meaning and application to guise. See a detailed analysis at guise. Note: do not confuse pretense with its homonym pretext, which is "an excuse for why you did something, meant to hide the real reason."

Usage Examples:

He tried to sell us the old computer under the pretense that new computers arenít really more advanced. (fabrication, false story)

She made absolutely no pretense of being interested. (false show)

The couple tried to keep up a pretense of normality and happiness while they were in the middle of a divorce. (charade, false show)

Politicians have given up on any pretense of neutrality; politics have become completely partisan. (pretext, pretension)

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