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Pretension definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. Claim, true or false; a holding out the appearance of right or possession of a thing, with a view to make others believe what is not real, or what, if true, is not yet known or admitted. A man may make pretensions to rights which he cannot maintain; he may make pretensions to skill which he does not possess; and he may make pretensions to skill or acquirements which he really possesses, but which he is not known to possess. Hence we speak of ill founded pretensions, and well founded pretensions.
2. Claim to something to be obtained, or a desire to obtain something, manifested by words or actions. Any citizen may have pretensions to the honor of representing the state in the senate or house of representatives.
The commons demand that the consulship should lie in common to the pretensions of any Roman.
Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions.
3. Fictitious appearance; a Latin phrase, not now used.
This was but an invention and pretension given out by the Spaniards.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a false or unsupportable quality [syn: pretension, pretense, pretence]
2: the advancing of a claim; "his pretension to the crown"; "the town still puts forward pretensions as a famous resort"
3: the quality of being pretentious (behaving or speaking in such a manner as to create a false appearance of great importance or worth) [syn: pretentiousness, pretension, largeness] [ant: unpretentiousness]

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Date: 15th century 1. an allegation of doubtful value ; pretext 2. a claim or an effort to establish a claim 3. a claim or right to attention or honor because of merit 4. an aspiration or intention that may or may not reach fulfillment <has serious literary pretensions> 5. vanity, pretentiousness Synonyms: see ambition pretensionless adjective II. transitive verb Etymology: pre- + 2tension Date: 1937 prestress

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 (often foll. by to) a an assertion of a claim. b a justifiable claim (has no pretensions to the name; has some pretensions to be included). 2 pretentiousness. Etymology: med.L praetensio, -tio (as PRETEND)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Pretension Pre*ten"sion, n. [Cf. F. pr['e]tention. See Pretend, Tension.] 1. The act of pretending, or laying claim; the act of asserting right or title. The arrogant pretensions of Glengarry contributed to protract the discussion. --Macaulay. 2. A claim made, whether true or false; a right alleged or assumed; a holding out the appearance of possessing a certain character; as, pretensions to scholarship. This was but an invention and pretension given out by the Spaniards. --Bacon. Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions. --L'Estrange.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(pretensions) 1. If you say that someone has pretensions, you disapprove of them because they claim or pretend that they are more important than they really are. Her wide-eyed innocence soon exposes the pretensions of the art world... We like him for his honesty, his lack of pretension. N-VAR [disapproval] 2. If someone has pretensions to something, they claim to be or do that thing. The city has unrealistic pretensions to world-class status... N-UNCOUNT: also N in pl, N to n/-ing, N to-inf

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Claim.

Moby Thesaurus

Barnumism, acting, affectation, affectedness, airs, airs and graces, alibi, ambitions, ambitiousness, apology, appearance, appurtenance, artificiality, aspiration, attitudinizing, authority, bedizenment, big talk, birthright, blind, bluff, bluffing, charade, cheating, claim, cloak, color, coloring, conjugal right, cover story, cover-up, deception, delusion, demand, device, disguise, dissemblance, dissembling, dissimulation, divine right, droit, due, excuse, facade, face, faculty, fakery, faking, false air, false front, false show, falsity, feigned belief, feigning, feint, flashiness, flatulence, flatulency, four-flushing, fraud, front, fulsomeness, garishness, gaudiness, gilt, gloss, grandiloquence, grandioseness, grandiosity, guise, handle, high-flown diction, humbug, humbuggery, hypocrisy, image, imposture, inalienable right, inflatedness, inflation, insincerity, interest, lame excuse, lexiphanicism, locus standi, loftiness, lofty affectations, luridness, magniloquence, make-believe, mannerism, mask, masquerade, mere rhetoric, mere show, meretriciousness, natural right, orotundity, ostensible motive, ostent, ostentation, ostentatious complexity, ostentatiousness, outward show, pageant, platitudinous ponderosity, playacting, polysyllabic profundity, pomposity, pompous prolixity, pompousness, pontification, poor excuse, pose, posing, posture, power, prerogative, prescription, presumptive right, pretending, pretense, pretensions, pretentiousness, pretext, proper claim, property right, prose run mad, protestation, prunes and prisms, public image, public motive, put-off, put-on, putting on airs, refuge, representation, rhetoric, rhetoricalness, right, screen, seeming, semblance, sensationalism, sententiousness, sham, show, showiness, simulacrum, simulation, smoke screen, speciousness, stalking-horse, stiltedness, stratagem, stylishness, subterfuge, swelling utterance, swollen phrase, swollenness, tall talk, title, tortuosity, tortuousness, trick, tumidity, tumidness, turgescence, turgidity, unnaturalness, varnish, veil, vested interest, vested right, window dressing


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