American English

Definition of pretense noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//prɪˈtɛns//
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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] the act of behaving in a particular way, in order to make other people believe something that is not true Their friendliness was only pretense. pretense of doing something By the end of the evening she had abandoned all pretense of being interested. pretense of something He made no pretense of great musical knowledge. pretense that… She was unable to keep up the pretense that she loved him.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable, usually singular] (formal or literary) a claim that you have a particular quality or skill pretense (to something) a woman with some pretense to beauty pretense (to doing something) Imake no pretense to being an expert on the subject.
  3. Idioms
    by/under/on false pretenses
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    by pretending to be something that you are not, in order to gain some advantage for yourself She was accused of obtaining money under false pretenses.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pretense