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90s Slang You Should Know


[pri-ten-der] /prɪˈtɛn dər/
a person who pretends, especially for a dishonest purpose.
an aspirant or claimant (often followed by to):
a pretender to the throne.
a person who makes unjustified or false claims, statements, etc., as about personal status, abilities, intentions, or the like:
a pretender to literary genius.
Origin of pretender
First recorded in 1585-95; pretend + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pretender
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet with little or no means I tried to bring this pretender to justice and defend his Majesty's throne.

    Lazarre Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • She said that was not known; it had been supposed a likeness of the pretender, when young.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Hearing the trumpet, the pretender hastened along the passage that led to the court.

    The Fugitives R.M. Ballantyne
  • “I do not believe in the pretender,” exclaimed Hilary quickly.

    In the King's Name George Manville Fenn
  • The pretender's troops landed at Deal only to be seized by the country folk and hanged as pirates.

  • “You talk like a follower of the pretender,” said the lad bitterly.

    The New Forest Spy George Manville Fenn
  • The pretender wheeled suddenly on the calm gentleman sitting indolently in his chair.

    The Lighted Match Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for pretender


a person who pretends or makes false allegations
a person who mounts a claim, as to a throne or title
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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Word Origin and History for pretender

1590s, "one who intends;" 1620s as "one who puts forth a claim;" agent noun from pretend (v.). Specifically of a claimant to the English throne from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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