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Meaning of pretense

pre•tense

Pronunciation: (pri-tens', prē'tens), [key]
— n.
  1. pretending or feigning; make-believe: My sleepiness was all pretense.
  2. a false show of something: a pretense of friendship.
  3. a piece of make-believe.
  4. the act of pretending or alleging falsely.
  5. a false allegation or justification: He excused himself from the lunch on a pretense of urgent business.
  6. insincere or false profession: His pious words were mere pretense.
  7. the putting forth of an unwarranted claim.
  8. the claim itself.
  9. any allegation or claim: to obtain money under false pretenses.
  10. pretension (usually fol. by to): destitute of any pretense to wit.
  11. pretentiousness.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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