2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Pretense \Pre*tense"\, Pretence \Pre*tence\, noun [LL. praetensus, for L. praetentus, p. p. of praetendere. See {Pretend}, and cf. {Tension}.]

1. The act of laying claim; the claim laid; assumption; pretension. --Spenser.

Primogeniture can not have any pretense to a right of solely inheriting property or power. --Locke.

I went to Lambeth with Sir R. Brown's pretense to the wardenship of Merton College, Oxford. --Evelyn.

2. The act of holding out, or offering, to others something false or feigned; presentation of what is deceptive or hypocritical; deception by showing what is unreal and concealing what is real; false show; simulation; as, pretense of illness; under pretense of patriotism; on pretense of revenging C[ae]sar's death.

3. That which is pretended; false, deceptive, or hypocritical show, argument, or reason; pretext; feint.

Let not the Trojans, with a feigned pretense Of proffered peace, delude the Latian prince. --Dryden.

4. Intention; design. [Obs.]

A very pretense and purpose of unkindness. --Shak.

Note: See the {Note} under {Offense}.

Syn: Mask; appearance; color; show; pretext; excuse.

Usage: {Pretense}, {Pretext}. A pretense is something held out as real when it is not so, thus falsifying the truth. A pretext is something woven up in order to cover or conceal one's true motives, feelings, or reasons. Pretext is often, but not always, used in a bad sense.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: the act of giving a false appearance; "his conformity was only pretending" [syn: {pretense}, {pretence}, {pretending}, {simulation}, {feigning}]

2: pretending with intention to deceive [syn: {pretense}, {pretence}, {feigning}, {dissembling}]

3: imaginative intellectual play [syn: {pretense}, {pretence}, {make-believe}]

4: a false or unsupportable quality [syn: {pretension}, {pretense}, {pretence}]

5: an artful or simulated semblance; "under the guise of friendship he betrayed them" [syn: {guise}, {pretense}, {pretence}, {pretext}]

1. Caduceus  2. Golden Key  3. Scales of Justice (Or maybe, 1. HEALTH 2. SECURITY 3. JUSTICE?)


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