- insincerely or falsely professed: a pretended interest in art.
- feigned, fictitious, or counterfeit: His pretended wealth was proved to be nonexistent.
- alleged or asserted; reputed.
Origin of pretended
- to cause or attempt to cause (what is not so) to seem so: to pretend illness; to pretend that nothing is wrong.
- to appear falsely, as to deceive; feign: to pretend to go to sleep.
- to make believe: The children pretended to be cowboys.
- to presume; venture: I can't pretend to say what went wrong.
- to allege or profess, especially insincerely or falsely: He pretended to have no knowledge of her whereabouts.
- to make believe.
- to lay claim to (usually followed by to): She pretended to the throne.
- to make pretensions (usually followed by to): He pretends to great knowledge.
- Obsolete. to aspire, as a suitor or candidate (followed by to).
- Informal. make-believe; simulated; counterfeit: pretend diamonds.
Origin of pretend
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pretend on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pretended
Hannigan pretended to be a basketball pro in order to impress a hot guy she had a crush on—only she had never played basketball.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love
November 18, 2014
Our Pashto interpreter explained how he had pretended to be a Pakistani policeman when interested crowds approached the compound.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
When he stopped by with the mail, he smiled, and we all pretended things were normal.Bergdahl’s Dad: Drone Killed Captor’s Kid
June 6, 2014
I offered him my hand in congratulation, and he seized and shook it like the good-natured fool he was—or pretended to be.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
I pretended to be a 35-year-old man from Kansas with a spouse and child.Why Obamacare Could Help the Democrats in 2014
December 5, 2013
She pretended that at first she took young Bines for what we all took him, an employee of the mine.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Her mother laughed merrily, and pretended to box her daughter's ears.
And he pretended he had got it, and read me such a beautiful letter from his mother!
"You've always said she hadn't, and pretended to be glad of it; I won't contradict," I returned.
I did not love you; I do not think I have pretended to love you.
- (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 and History for pretended
mid-15c., "so-called," past participle adjective from pretend (v.).
late 14c., "to profess, assert, maintain" (a claim, etc.), "to direct (one's) efforts," from Old French pretendre "to lay claim," from Latin praetendere "stretch in front, put forward, allege," from prae "before" (see pre-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (see tend).
Main modern sense of "feign, put forward a false claim" is recorded from c.1400; the older sense of simply "to claim" is behind the string of royal pretenders (1690s) in English history. Meaning "to play, make believe" is recorded from 1865. In 17c. pretend also could mean "make a suit of marriage for," from a sense in French. Related: Pretended; pretending.
"fact of pretending," 1888, from children's talk, from pretend (v.). Earlier in same sense was verbal noun pretending (1640s).