Definition of pretence in English:


Line breaks: pre|tence
Pronunciation: /prɪˈtɛns
(US pretense)


  • 2 (pretence to) A claim to have a particular skill or quality: he was quick to disclaim any pretence to superiority
    More example sentences
    • In this regard, the menace of bio-terrorism can be seen as usefully clarifying, since it eliminates all pretence to political legitimacy and announces itself starkly as a planetary scourge.
    • In using the term ‘horrifying’, I am not including am-dram productions of The King and I, which never had any serious pretense to quality.
    • The real scandal is that a newspaper that once had some pretense to quality now prints ignorant drivel like this.


late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pretense, based on medieval Latin pretensus 'pretended', alteration of Latin praetentus, from the verb praetendere (see pretend).

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