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pre·tend (prĭ-tĕnd)
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v. pre·tend·ed, pre·tend·ing, pre·tends
v.tr.
1. To give a false appearance of; feign: "You had to pretend conformity while privately pursuing high and dangerous nonconformism" (Anthony Burgess).
2. To claim or allege insincerely or falsely: doesn't pretend to be an expert.
3. To represent fictitiously in play; make believe: pretended they were on a cruise.
4. To take upon oneself; venture: I cannot pretend to say that you are wrong.
v.intr.
1. To feign an action or character, as in play.
2. To lay claim: pretends to gourmet tastes.
adj.
Informal
Imitation; make-believe: pretend money; pretend pearls.

[Middle English pretenden, from Old French pretendre, from Latin praetendere : prae-, pre- + tendere, to extend; see ten- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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