Etymology
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pretense (n.)

also pretence, early 15c., "the putting forth of a claim; false or hypocritical profession, feigning, disguise, that under cover of which an actual design or meaning is concealed," also "a stated ground or reason, an assertion of a legal right," from Anglo-French pretensse(Modern French prétense), from Medieval Latin pretensio, noun of action from Late Latin praetensus, altered from Latin praetentus, past participle of praetendere  "stretch in front, put forward; allege" (see pretend (v.)).

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Definitions of pretense

pretense (n.)
the act of giving a false appearance;
Synonyms: pretence / pretending / simulation / feigning
pretense (n.)
pretending with intention to deceive;
Synonyms: pretence / feigning / dissembling
pretense (n.)
imaginative intellectual play;
Synonyms: pretence / make-believe
pretense (n.)
a false or unsupportable quality;
Synonyms: pretension / pretence
pretense (n.)
an artful or simulated semblance;
Synonyms: guise / pretence / pretext
From wordnet.princeton.edu