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false pretences

plural noun
1.
(criminal law) a former name for deception See obtaining by deception
2.
a similar misrepresentation used to obtain anything, such as trust or affection (esp in the phrase under false pretences)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for false pretences
Historical Examples
  • It was a terrible shock to him, but we are friends, and I have not got his friendship on false pretences.

    De Profundis Oscar Wilde
  • You know, I came out to this bally country on false pretences, as it were.

  • "I take it on false pretences," said I with a laugh, as I shook it.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • I—I don't want to cause you to spend your money on false pretences.'

    The Giant's Robe F. Anstey
  • He simply could not believe that his son could have asked him for the money on false pretences.

    Julian Home Dean Frederic W. Farrar
  • You have known why ever since you had the meanness to enter Wildtree on false pretences.

    A Dog with a Bad Name Talbot Baines Reed
  • To the self-constituted Apostle, false pretences were familiar.

    Not Paul, But Jesus Jeremy Bentham
  • Long firm, a gang of swindlers who obtain goods by false pretences.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • I don't like the man, and he lured us to that dull party on false pretences.

  • Smith was excluded from the Council upon some false pretences.

    The Birth of the Nation Mrs. Roger A. Pryor

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