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See more synonyms for pretender on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who pretends, especially for a dishonest purpose.
  2. an aspirant or claimant (often followed by to): a pretender to the throne.
  3. a person who makes unjustified or false claims, statements, etc., as about personal status, abilities, intentions, or the like: a pretender to literary genius.
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Origin of pretender

First recorded in 1585–95; pretend + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pretender


  1. a person who pretends or makes false allegations
  2. a person who mounts a claim, as to a throne or title
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper