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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Pretend


PRETEND', verb transitive [Latin proetendo; proe, before, and tendo, to tend, to reach or stretch.]

1. Literally, to reach or stretch forward; used by Dryden, but this use is not well authorized.

2. To hold out, as a false appearance; to offer something feigned instead of that which is real; to simulate, in words or actions.

This let him know,

Lest willfully transgressing, he pretend

Surprisal.

3. To show hypocritically; as, to pretend great zeal when the heart is not engaged; to pretend patriotism for the sake of gaining popular applause or obtaining an office.

4. To exhibit as a cover for something hidden.

Lest that too heavenly form, pretended

To hellish falsehood, snare them. [Not in use.]

5. To claim.

Chiefs shall be grudg'd the part which they pretend

[In this we generally use pretend to.]

6. To intend; to design. [Not used.]

PRETEND', verb transitive To put in a claim, truly or falsely; to hold out the appearance of being, possessing or performing. A man may pretend to be a physician, and pretend to perform great cures. Bad men often pretend to be patriots.