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pretense (n.)

also pretence, early 15c., "the putting forth of a claim," from Anglo-French pretensse, Middle French pretensse (Modern French prétense), from Medieval Latin noun use of fem. of Late Latin praetensus, altered from Latin praetentus, past participle of praetendere (see pretend). Meaning "false or hypocritical profession" is from 1540s.

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Definitions of pretense from WordNet

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