Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pretension - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable/uncountable]     pretension pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. a way of behaving that is intended to impress other people but seems false or too deliberate

    There’s a refreshing lack of pretension about her.

    1. a.
      used about books, films, and other things that people create

      a style of cooking that is entirely without pretension

      pretension to:

      a film that has no pretension to the status of art

quiz invitation

Open Dictionary

patio diplomacy

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

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play