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pretense - definition and synonyms


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noun [countable/uncountable] pretense pronunciation in American English /ˈpriˌtens/pretense pronunciation in American English /prɪˈtens/
Word Forms
  1. a way of behaving that does not honestly express your real feelings, thoughts, or intentions

    She said she was really pleased to see us, but I could tell it was just a pretense.

    pretense of:

    Harper was convicted without even the pretense of a proper trial.

    Yeltsin, now seriously ill, had given up any pretense of being in charge.

    on the pretense of doing something:

    A man stopped her on the pretense of asking directions.

    make a pretense of doing something:

    Alex made no pretense of hiding her disappointment.

See also

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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