UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/prɪˈtɛnd/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/prɪˈtɛnd/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(pri tend)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
pre•tend /prɪˈtɛnd/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to put forward a false appearance of, so as to deceive: [+ object]I would pretend illness so I wouldn't have to go to school.[+ to + verb]She pretended to sleep whenever I came in to check on her.[+ (that) clause]The children pretended they were cowboys.[no object]The kids were only pretending.
  2. to lay claim to:[+ to + object]to pretend to the throne.

  1. Informal Termsmake-believe;
    imaginary:pretend cowboys.
pre•tend•er, n. [countable]See -tend-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
pre•tend  (pri tend),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to cause or attempt to cause (what is not so) to seem so:to pretend illness; to pretend that nothing is wrong.
  2. to appear falsely, as to deceive;
    feign:to pretend to go to sleep.
  3. to make believe:The children pretended to be cowboys.
  4. to presume;
    venture:I can't pretend to say what went wrong.
  5. to allege or profess, esp. insincerely or falsely:He pretended to have no knowledge of her whereabouts.

  1. to make believe.
  2. to lay claim to (usually fol. by to):She pretended to the throne.
  3. to make pretensions (usually fol. by to):He pretends to great knowledge.
  4. [Obs.]to aspire, as a suitor or candidate (fol. by to).

  1. Informal Termsmake-believe;
    counterfeit:pretend diamonds.
  • Latin praetendere to stretch forth, put forward, pretend. See pre-, tend1
  • Middle English pretenden 1325–75
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged simulate, fake, sham, counterfeit.
      Pretend, affect, assume, feign imply an attempt to create a false appearance.
      To pretend is to create an imaginary characteristic or to play a part:to pretend sorrow.To affect is to make a consciously artificial show of having qualities that one thinks would look well and impress others:to affect shyness.To assume is to take on or put on a specific outward appearance, often (but not always) with intent to deceive:to assume an air of indifference.To feign implies using ingenuity in pretense, and some degree of imitation of appearance or characteristics:to feign surprise.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
pretend /prɪˈtɛnd/ vb
  1. (when tr, usually takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to claim or allege (something untrue)
  2. (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to make believe, as in a play: you pretend to be Ophelia
  3. (intransitive) followed by to: to present a claim, esp a dubious one: to pretend to the throne
  4. (intransitive) followed by to: obsolete to aspire as a candidate or suitor (for)
  1. fanciful; make-believe; simulated
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin praetendere to stretch forth, feign, from prae in front + tendere to stretch
'pretend' also found in these entries:
Collocations: pretend (not) to [care, love, understand, like, notice, know, have], let's play pretend, pretend [diamonds, money], more...

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