Definition of pretend in English:
- They could pretend that they in fact had hands toughened by manual labor in the somewhat mythical Australian outback.
- The good thing about a BlackBerry is you can read a message and pretend that you haven't seen it.
- They could in fact merely be pretending not to be Masons.
- This fantasy allows us to pretend that where we are does not matter, and that what we do daily is a minor narrative that does not count.
- Francis loses both daughter and wife and constructs a fantasy life to pretend that Lisa is somehow still alive.
- Back then I used to play games and pretend I was a secret agent and such.
- Lodovico, with Brabanzio's brother Graziano, hears the wounded men: Iago, feigning to help, stabs Roderigo, then pretends horror on finding him dead.
- Each of us (we're men here) pretends appreciation for the way she slips from point to point.
- Even pretended disinterest can destroy thought, or pretended interest can give room for ideas to coalesce.
adjective[attributive] informal Back to top
- In the home center, children prepare a pretend picnic for an imaginary vacation.
- And when you say towing mannequins, is that mannequin in the sense of, say a store dummy, basically a pretend human being?
- It was a boring time, as Dominic had to eat pretend chocolate chip cookies, and drink tea.
Late Middle English: from Latin praetendere 'stretch forth, claim', from prae 'before' + tendere 'stretch'. The adjective dates from the early 20th century.
The basic idea behind pretend is that you claim to be something that you are not. It comes from Latin praetendere ‘to claim, put forward’, from prae ‘before’ and tendere ‘stretch, hold out’.
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