- 1the act of trying to appear more important, intelligent, etc. than you are in order to impress other people intellectual pretensions The play mocks the pretensions of the new middle class. He spoke without pretension.
- 2a claim to be or to do something pretension (to something/to doing something) a building with no pretensions to architectural merit pretension (to do something) The movie makes no pretension to reproduce life.
NAmE//prɪˈtɛnʃn//[countable, usually plural, uncountable]