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pretend - definition and synonyms

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verb     pretend pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepretending
past tensepretended
past participlepretended
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to behave in a particular way because you want someone to believe that something is true when it is not

    We were never going to make the marriage work, so why pretend?

    pretend to do something:

    She closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep.

    pretend otherwise (=pretend that something is not true):

    I know you hate my haircut, so don’t pretend otherwise.

    pretend (that):

    I’m sorry, but I can’t just sit back and pretend it hasn’t happened.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to imagine that something is true when you are playing a game
    pretend (that):

    They’re pretending they’re astronauts again.

    pretend to be someone/something:

    The little girl was pretending to be a lion.

  3. 3
    [transitive] [usually in negatives] to claim that something is true when it is not
    pretend (that):

    I’m not going to pretend we achieved a lot.

    pretend to do something:

    I don’t pretend to have all the answers.

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patio diplomacy

high-level diplomats meeting and dining in an informal environment e.g. a party or club

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