Etymology
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pretext (n.)

"that which is assumed as a cloak or means of concealment," 1510s, from French prétexte, from Latin praetextum "a pretext, outward display," noun use of neuter past participle of praetexere "to disguise, cover," literally "weave in front" (for sense, compare pull the wool over (someone's) eyes); from prae- "in front" (see pre-) + texere "to weave" (from PIE root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate").

updated on October 28, 2020

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Definitions of pretext from WordNet

pretext (n.)
something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason;
Synonyms: stalking-horse
pretext (n.)
an artful or simulated semblance;
Synonyms: guise / pretense / pretence
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.