[[t]prɪte̱ns, AM pri͟ːtens[/t]]
(in AM, use pretense)
1) N-VAR A pretence is an action or way of behaving that is intended to make people believe something that is not true.

Welland made a pretence of writing a note in his pad...

We have to go along with the pretence that things are getting better...

The government abandoned any pretence of reform.

2) PHRASE: usu under PHR If you do something under false pretences, you do it when people do not know the truth about you and your intentions.

I could not go on living with a man who had married me under false pretences...

Conrad had been imprisoned for a year for gaining money by false pretences.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pretence — (US pretense) ► NOUN 1) an act or the action of pretending. 2) affected and ostentatious behaviour. 3) (pretence to) a claim, especially a false or ambitious one …   English terms dictionary

  • Pretence — Pre*tence , n., Pretenceful Pre*tence ful, a., Pretenceless Pre*tence *less, a. See {Pretense}, {Pretenseful}, {Pretenseless}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pretence — The usual AmE spelling is pretense …   Modern English usage

  • pretence — [prē tens′, pritens′; prē′tens΄] n. Brit. sp. of PRETENSE …   English World dictionary

  • pretence — n. see also pretense simulation false show 1) to make a pretence (he made no pretence of being objective) 2) to see through smb. s pretence 3) under a pretence (under the pretence of patriotism; under false pretences) 4) without pretence (a… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • pretence — (BrE) (AmE pretense) noun ADJECTIVE ▪ elaborate ▪ It was all an elaborate pretence. ▪ flimsy, slight ▪ There is not even the slightest pretence of trying to make it realistic …   Collocations dictionary

  • pretence — pre|tence BrE pretense AmE [prıˈtens US ˈpri:tens] n [singular,U] 1.) a way of behaving which is intended to make people believe something that is not true pretence that ▪ the pretence that the old system could be made to work pretence of/at… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pretence — also pretense AmE noun (singular, uncountable) 1 an attempt to pretend that something is true (+ that): Susie abandoned the pretence that she didn t want to go to the party. | keep up the pretence of being/doing sth: How long are you going to… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • pretence — UK [prɪˈtens] / US [ˈprɪˌtens] / US [prɪˈtens] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms pretence : singular pretence plural pretences a way of behaving that does not honestly express your real feelings, thoughts, or intentions She said she was… …   English dictionary

  • pretence — noun 1. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) pretending or feigning; make believe: my sleepiness was all pretence. 2. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) a false show of something: a pretence of friendship. 3. /prəˈtɛns / (say pruh tens) a piece of make believe.… …  

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