pre·tense /ˈpriˌtɛn(t)s, prɪˈ/
Pre·tense, Pre·tence n.
1. The act of laying claim; the claim laid; assumption; pretension.
Primogeniture can not have any pretense to a right of solely inheriting property or power. --Locke.
I went to Lambeth with Sir R. Brown's pretense to the wardenship of Merton College, Oxford. --Evelyn.
2. The act of holding out, or offering, to others something false or feigned; presentation of what is deceptive or hypocritical; deception by showing what is unreal and concealing what is real; false show; simulation; as, pretense of illness; under pretense of patriotism; on pretense of revenging Cæsar's death.
3. That which is pretended; false, deceptive, or hypocritical show, argument, or reason; pretext; feint.
Let not the Trojans, with a feigned pretense
Of proffered peace, delude the Latian prince. --Dryden.
4. Intention; design. [Obs.]
A very pretense and purpose of unkindness. --Shak.
Note: ☞ See the Note under Offense.
Syn: -- Mask; appearance; color; show; pretext; excuse.
Usage: -- Pretense, Pretext. A pretense is something held out as real when it is not so, thus falsifying the truth. A pretext is something woven up in order to cover or conceal one's true motives, feelings, or reasons. Pretext is often, but not always, used in a bad sense.
n 1: the act of giving a false appearance; "his conformity was
only pretending" [syn: pretence, pretending, simulation,
2: pretending with intention to deceive [syn: pretence, feigning,
3: imaginative intellectual play [syn: pretence, make-believe]
4: a false or unsupportable quality [syn: pretension, pretence]
5: an artful or simulated semblance; "under the guise of
friendship he betrayed them" [syn: guise, pretence, pretext]