Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "pretense" []

  • The act of pretending; a false appearance or action intended to deceive. (noun)
  • A false or studied show; an affectation: a pretense of nonchalance. (noun)
  • A professed but feigned reason or excuse; a pretext: under false pretenses. (noun)
  • Something imagined or pretended. (noun)
  • Mere show without reality; outward appearance. (noun)

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 "pretense" in a sentence
  • "Another article in the "mainstream" media criticizing President Obama, in which the pretense is about an "open media" and "transparency," but the subtext is obvious – racism, pure and simple."
  • "The free enterprise pretense is today, again, providing profit to a small number of people and corporations."
  • "What should they have done, one of those fake long sloppy kisses in pretense done by couples that probably haven't touched each other in years?"