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 ?
Upon the pretext that his tenant needed quiet, he kept him almost in isolation, and Muishkin protested in vain against this excess of zeal.
This revolution was supported by scarcely any pretext of grievances: but in a state which, in the course of nine months
There were pauses between my question and her answer, and long musings, when, with the tones of her voice lingering in my ears, I sought to divine from them the secret of her inmost thoughts; perhaps her fingers would tremble as I gave her some object of which she had been in search, or I would devise pretexts to lightly touch her dress or her hair, to take her hand in mine, to compel her to speak more than she wished; all these nothings were great events for me.
She gave them leave of absence for twenty-four hours, under some plausible pretexts, and did not desire anybody to be with her but her father, while they are away.
The Chinese authorities kill thousands of innocent people on the most frivolous pretexts.
I have been three times in his rooms, twice waiting for him under different pretexts and leaving before he came.
Pontellier, and every now and again he drummed up a pretext to bring him to the city.
I only sat there on my tomb and read into what my little friend had said to me the fullness of its meaning; by the time I had grasped the whole of which I had also embraced, for absence, the pretext that I was ashamed to offer my pupils and the rest of the congregation such an example of delay.
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.
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.
The rulers of the former can have a good pretext, if they are even so inclined, to keep on foot armies so numerous as must of necessity be maintained in the latter.
The Union itself, which it cements and secures, destroys every pretext for a military establishment which could be dangerous.