[ pri-ten-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: pretensionpretensions on

  1. the laying of a claim to something.

  2. a claim or title to something.

  1. Often pretensions . a claim made, especially indirectly or by implication, to some quality, merit, or the like: They laughed at my pretensions to superior judgment.

  2. a claim to dignity, importance, or merit.

  3. pretentiousness.

  4. the act of pretending or alleging.

  5. an allegation of doubtful veracity.

Origin of pretension

First recorded in 1400–50; from Medieval Latin praetēnsiōn- (stem of praetēnsiō ); see pretense, -ion

Other words for pretension

Words Nearby pretension

Other definitions for pretension (2 of 2)

[ pree-ten-shuhn ]

verb (used with object)
  1. (in prestressed-concrete construction) to apply tension to (reinforcing strands) before the concrete is poured; prestress. : Compare posttension (def. 1).

  2. to make (a concrete member) with pretensioned reinforcement.

Origin of pretension

First recorded in 1935–40; pre- + tension Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pretension in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pretension


/ (prɪˈtɛnʃən) /

  1. (often plural) a false or unsupportable claim, esp to merit, worth, or importance

  2. a specious or unfounded allegation; pretext

  1. the state or quality of being pretentious

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