AskDefine | Define pretend

Dictionary Definition

pretend adj : imagined as in a play; "the make-believe world of theater"; "play money"; "dangling their legs in the water to catch pretend fish" [syn: make-believe] n : the enactment of a pretense; "it was just pretend" [syn: make-believe]


1 make believe with the intent to deceive; "He feigned that he was ill"; "He shammed a headache" [syn: feign, sham, affect, dissemble]
2 behave unnaturally or affectedly; "She's just acting" [syn: dissemble, act]
3 put forward a claim and assert right or possession of; "pretend the title of King"
4 put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation; "I am guessing that the price of real estate will rise again"; "I cannot pretend to say that you are wrong" [syn: guess, venture, hazard]
5 represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like; "She makes like an actress" [syn: make, make believe]
6 state insincerely; "He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt"; "She pretended not to have known the suicide bomber"; "She pretends to be an expert on wine" [syn: profess]

User Contributed Dictionary



From pretendre (French: prétendre (false friend)), from praetendere.



  1. to claim that or act as if something is different from what it actually is, often incorrectly and knowingly
    Don't pretend you didn't know about this!

Usage notes


to act as though something is different from what it is

Extensive Definition

Pretending could refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

act, act a part, adopt, affect, aim to, allege, appropriate, arrogate, assume, attempt, attempt to, avow, bluff, challenge, claim, counterfeit, cover up, dare, dare to, dissemble, dissimulate, do a bit, dramatize, encroach, endeavor, fake, feign, four-flush, gammon, hazard, histrionize, infringe, invade, lay claim to, let on, let on like, make a pretense, make as if, make believe, make bold, make free, make like, make out, make out like, overact, play, play God, play a part, play a scene, play possum, playact, presume, pretend to, pretext, profess, protest too much, purport, put on, put on airs, represent, seek to, seize, sham, simulate, strive to, study to, take over, take the liberty, trespass, try, try and, try to, tug the heartstrings, undertake, usurp, venture, venture to, wear
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