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
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.