pretext


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pretext

noun affectation, alibi, alleged purpose, alleged reason, camouflage, charade, claim, cover, defense, disguise, evasion, excuse, fabrication, false appearance, false ground, false motive, false pretense, false reason, false show, falsification, feint, fraud, guise, invention, justification, lie, make-believe, mask, misstatement, obfuscation, ostensible motive, ostensible purpose, ostensible reason, praetextum, pretense, pretension, professed purpose, profession, ruse, sham, shift, show, simulation, species, stratagem, subterfuge, trick, trickery, untruth, wile
Foreign phrases: Praetextu liciti non debet admitti illiciium.That which is illegal ought not to be permitted under a pretext of legality.
See also: artifice, bad faith, color, deception, disguise, evasion, excuse, false pretense, falsehood, ruse, stratagem, subterfuge

PRETEXT. The reasons assigned to justify an act, which have only the appearance of truth, and which are without foundation; or which if true are not the true reasons for such act. Vattel, liv. 3, c. 3, 32.

References in classic literature ?
Her false eyebrows required time for their removal, and a headache assumed for the occasion suggested the most convenient pretext she could devise for hiding them as they were hidden now.
If a pretext to get him away could be made out of that other convict, or out of anything else in his life, now.
The Squire had delivered this speech in a coughing and interrupted manner, but with no pause long enough for Godfrey to make it a pretext for taking up the word again.
On the other hand, such and so multiplied were the means of vexation and oppression possessed by the great Barons, that they never wanted the pretext, and seldom the will, to harass and pursue, even to the very edge of destruction, any of their less powerful neighbours, who attempted to separate themselves from their authority, and to trust for their protection, during the dangers of the times, to their own inoffensive conduct, and to the laws of the land.
Capitalism, organized for repressive purposes under pretext of governing the nation, would very soon stop the association if it understood our aim, but it thinks that we are engaged in gunpowder plots and conspiracies to assassinate crowned heads; and so, whilst the police are blundering in search of evidence of these, our real work goes on unmolested.
They" were obviously the managers, who had given orders, during the last entr'acte, that they were not to be disturbed on any pretext whatever.
Hindbad was not a little surprised at this summons, and feared that his unguarded words might have drawn upon him the displeasure of Sindbad, so he tried to excuse himself upon the pretext that he could not leave the burden which had been entrusted to him in the street.
He made business a pretext for shutting himself up in his study, but it was really in order to spend the time with the Princess, who remained inflexible.
Resolved: that the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
To proceed, then: Don Fernando finding my presence an obstacle to the execution of his treacherous and wicked design, resolved to send me to his elder brother under the pretext of asking money from him to pay for six horses which, purposely, and with the sole object of sending me away that he might the better carry out his infernal scheme, he had purchased the very day he offered to speak to my father, and the price of which he now desired me to fetch.
Then I knew that the Sheriff would use this as a pretext to hound my father, if I tarried.
Men of this class, whether the favorites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquillity to personal advantage or personal gratification.