Hypertext Webster Gateway: "pretend"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Pretend \Pre*tend"\, v. i.
1. To put in, or make, a claim, truly or falsely; to allege a
title; to lay claim to, or strive after, something; --
usually with to. ``Countries that pretend to freedom.''

For to what fine he would anon pretend, That know I
well. --Chaucer.

2. To hold out the appearance of being, possessing, or
performing; to profess; to make believe; to feign; to
sham; as, to pretend to be asleep. ``[He] pretended to
drink the waters.'' --Macaulay.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Pretend \Pre*tend"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pretended}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Pretending}.] [OE. pretenden to lay claim to, F.
pr['e]tendre, L. praetendere, praetentum, to stretch forward,
pretend, simulate, assert; prae before + tendere to stretch.
See {Tend}, v. t. ]
1. To lay a claim to; to allege a title to; to claim.

Chiefs shall be grudged the part which they pretend.

2. To hold before, or put forward, as a cloak or disguise for
something else; to exhibit as a veil for something hidden.

Lest that too heavenly form, pretended To hellish
falsehood, snare them. --Milton.

3. To hold out, or represent, falsely; to put forward, or
offer, as true or real (something untrue or unreal); to
show hypocritically, or for the purpose of deceiving; to
simulate; to feign; as, to pretend friendship.

This let him know, Lest, willfully transgressing, he
pretend Surprisal. --Milton.

4. To intend; to design; to plot; to attempt. [Obs.]

Such as shall pretend Malicious practices against
his state. --Shak.

5. To hold before one; to extend. [Obs.] ``His target always
over her pretended.'' --Spenser.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj : imagined as in a play; "the make-believe world of theater";
"play money"; "dangling their legs in the water to
catch pretend fish" [syn: {make-believe}, {play(a)}]
v 1: make believe; "He feigned that he was ill"; "He shammed a
headache" [syn: {feign}, {sham}, {affect}, {dissemble}]
2: behave unnaturally or affectedly; "She's just acting" [syn:
{dissemble}, {act}]
3: put forward a claim and assert right or possession of;
"pretend the title of King"

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