pretense

(redirected from pretence)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to pretence: false pretence
References in classic literature ?
But now he may be no better than a Dissenter, and want to push aside my son on pretence of doctrine.
I know of none of his plays that is of wrong effect, or that violates the instincts of purity, or insults common sense with the romantic pretence that wrong will be right if you will only paint it rose-color.
Dear Madam [I wrote], It has come to my knowledge that when you walk in the Gardens with the boy David you listen avidly for encomiums of him and of your fanciful dressing of him by passers-by, storing them in your heart the while you make vain pretence to regard them not: wherefore lest you be swollen by these very small things I, who now know David both by day and by night, am minded to compare him and Porthos the one with the other, both in this matter and in other matters of graver account.
Last time I was there I used to notice every day a very old man making a pretence of working in a kitchen garden attached to a little white mission-house - a Basle Society depot.
I think his pretence at having a good time over here is all a bluff.
Looking back on my conduct from the moment I first set foot on your beach, I can see no false pretence that I have made about myself or my intentions.
Sinon then raised the fire- signal to the Achaeans, having previously got into the city by pretence.
Ralph not only issued this order in his most peremptory manner, but, under pretence of fetching some papers from the little office, saw it obeyed, and, when Newman had left the house, chained the door, to prevent the possibility of his returning secretly, by means of his latch-key.
A treacherous friend is the most dangerous enemy; and I will say boldly, that both religion and virtue have received more real discredit from hypocrites than the wittiest profligates or infidels could ever cast upon them: nay, farther, as these two, in their purity, are rightly called the bands of civil society, and are indeed the greatest of blessings; so when poisoned and corrupted with fraud, pretence, and affectation, they have become the worst of civil curses, and have enabled men to perpetrate the most cruel mischiefs to their own species.
When his ring at the gate- bell is expected, or takes place, every young lady who can, under any pretence, look out of window, looks out of window; while every young lady who is 'practising,' practises out of time; and the French class becomes so demoralised that the mark goes round as briskly as the bottle at a convivial party in the last century.
He had previously communicated his plan to the former, who aided the deceit by quitting his house, under the pretence of a journey and concealed himself, with his daughter, in an obscure part of Paris.
However, I went in (on pretence of asking for instructions about the dinner) to discover whether anything serious had really happened.