- 1 [with clause or infinitive] Behave so as to make it appear that something is the case when in fact it is not: I closed my eyes and pretended I was asleep she turned the pages and pretended to readMore example sentences
- 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.
- 1.1Engage in an imaginative game or fantasy: children pretending to be grown-upsMore example sentences
- 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.
- 1.2 [with object] Give the appearance of feeling or possessing (an emotion or quality); simulate: she pretended a greater surprise than she feltMore example sentences
feign, sham, fake, simulate, put on, counterfeit, affectfake, faked, affected, assumed, professed, purported, spurious, ostensible, quasi-, contrived, in name only; insincere, hypocritical, mock, imitation, simulated, so-called, make-believe, pseudo, sham, false, bogus; counterfeit, fraudulent, forged
- 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.
- 2 [no object] (pretend to) Lay claim to (a quality or title): he cannot pretend to sophisticationMore example sentences
- There is a self-styled anti-globalisation movement that pretends to the contrary.
- But it is an impostor, a sort of Toad Hall that pretends to an amplitude and height it hasn't got.
adjective[attributive] • informal Back to top
- Not really what it is represented as being; imaginary: the children poured out pretend tea for the dollsMore example sentences
imaginary, imagined, pretended, make-believe, made-up, fantasy, fantasized, fancied, dream, dreamed-up, unreal, fanciful, invented, fictitious, fictive, mythical, feigned, fake, mock, imitative, sham, simulated, artificial, ersatz, dummy, false, faux, spurious, bogus, counterfeit, fraudulent, forged, pseudo• informal phoneySouth African • informal play-play
- 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.