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pretense

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noun [countable/uncountable] American English pronunciation: pretense /ˈpriˌtens/ American English pronunciation: pretense /prɪˈtens/ 
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singularpretense
pluralpretenses
  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.

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