[ pri-tend ]
/ prɪˈtɛnd /
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See synonyms for: pretend / pretended / pretending on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


Informal. make-believe; simulated; counterfeit: pretend diamonds.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of pretend

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English pretenden, from Latin praetendere “to stretch forth, put forward, pretend.” See pre-, tend1

synonym study for pretend

1. 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.


portend, pretend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for pretend

British Dictionary definitions for pretend

/ (prɪˈtɛnd) /


(when tr, usually takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to claim or allege (something untrue)
(tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to make believe, as in a playyou pretend to be Ophelia
(intr foll by to) to present a claim, esp a dubious oneto pretend to the throne
(intr foll by to) obsolete to aspire as a candidate or suitor (for)


fanciful; make-believe; simulateda pretend gun

Word Origin for pretend

C14: from Latin praetendere to stretch forth, feign, from prae in front + tendere to stretch
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