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.
Synonyms and related words