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  • noun

Synonyms for pretense

the presentation of something false as true

a display of insincere behavior

artificial behavior adopted to impress others

a professed rather than a real reason

a legitimate or supposed right to demand something as one's rightful due

Synonyms for pretense

imaginative intellectual play

a false or unsupportable quality

Related Words

an artful or simulated semblance

References in classic literature ?
The soldiers then saw him stretch his limbs, little by little, and under the pretense of much heat throw off the Scotch plaid which covered him.
According to some stories, she was in the habit of boiling old people in a large caldron, under pretense of making them young again; but King Aegeus, I suppose, did not fancy such an uncomfortable way of growing young, or perhaps was contented to be old, and therefore would never let himself be popped into the caldron.
He sinks back in his chair; he draws a long breath; he asks to be left a while by himself, under the pretense that the subject excites him.
He took the tone of his time--the tone of pretense.
In a hasty study like the present the reasons for Hamlet's pretense of madness can be arrived at only by starting not only with some knowledge of the details of the earlier versions but with some definite theory.
Under a perfectly-acted pretense of toying with it absently, in the character of a young lady absorbed in thought, she began dividing a morsel of ham left on the edge of her plate, into six tiny pieces.
Thus far he had not troubled himself to show even a decent pretense of interest in his old friend's perpetually-interrupted narrative.
She merely smiled with a pretense of irony when he finished, and made no reply, because she had not heard what he said.
I say, I now claimed this promise of him, and I must confess I did it not in the most obliging terms that could be in the world neither; but I insisted that he treated me ill, that I was remote from my friends, and could do myself no justice, and that he was jealous without cause, my conversation having been unblamable, and he having no pretense for it, and that to remove to England would take away all occasion from him.
I loathed the thoughts of bedding with him, and used a thousand pretenses of illness and humour to prevent his touching me, fearing nothing more than to be with child by him, which to be sure would have prevented, or at least delayed, my going over to England.
The people of America are aware that inducements to war may arise out of these circumstances, as well as from others not so obvious at present, and that whenever such inducements may find fit time and opportunity for operation, pretenses to color and justify them will not be wanting.
With the matron's arrival the foredoomed end of the flimsy false pretenses and the cruel delays had come.
It explored whether the assertions of theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson regarding the facilitative effect of games with rules and pretense on moral development could be supported in a retrospective longitudinal study.
CDATA[ When it comes to Israel, even academics, people who have chosen as their lifeas work scholarly discussion and open inquiry, are perfectly willing to vitiate what the academy is supposed to represent and abandon even the pretense of honest debate.
PNN On Sunday 26th May, Israeli Occupation Forces razed Palestinian-owned land in Hebron and Nablus under the false pretense of "searching for ruins".