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Definition of "pretentious" [pre•ten•tious]

  • Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified. (adjective)
  • Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See Synonyms at showy. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "pretentious" in a sentence
  • "One thing I noticed about the comments on your blog is that folks often use the term pretentious to describe a restaurant."
  • "Although he finds the phrase "pretentious," he realized he was bearing witness so that peoples' suffering "will not have happened in vain.""
  • "It's absolutely true "pretentious" is thrown around quite a lot, and often in a way that isn't an argument about the literature, but about the hypothetical motives of its creators or its appreciators."