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Pretense   /pritˈɛns/   Listen
Pretense

noun
1.
The act of giving a false appearance.  Synonyms: feigning, pretence, pretending, simulation.
2.
Pretending with intention to deceive.  Synonyms: dissembling, feigning, pretence.
3.
Imaginative intellectual play.  Synonyms: make-believe, pretence.
4.
A false or unsupportable quality.  Synonyms: pretence, pretension.
5.
An artful or simulated semblance.  Synonyms: guise, pretence, pretext.



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"Pretense" Quotes from Famous Books



... as mention is made of individual officers and men there is no pretense that the list is complete. Those whose names appear in the text were selected as types. Hundreds of others were equally deserving. The same remark applies to the portraits. These are representative faces. The list could be ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... curious inversion. It is a fact of common observance that in this lower middle class there is no pretense of leisure on the part of the head of the household. Through force of circumstances it has fallen into disuse. But the middle-class wife still carries on the business of vicarious leisure, for the good name of the household and its master. In descending ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... listening to a dreary band with a cornet that was a note and a half flat. Again he heard the old operatic airs, and again she came tripping toward him, leaning on her old father's arm, and pretending (with such a charming, delicious, serio-comic pretense) to be listening to the music, and quite unaware of the admiration of half a dozen open-mouthed cavalry officers. Again the old fancy came back that she was something too beautiful for earth, or earthly uses, and that to approach her was to walk ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... in guiding across the oceans and beneath his banner the magnificent ship upon which everyone's welfare depends.-Under the ascendancy of such an idea he was allowed to do everything. By fair means or foul, he so reduced ancient authorities as to make them a fragment, a pretense, a souvenir. The nobles are simply his officials or his courtiers. Since the Concordat he nominates the dignitaries of the Church. The States-General were not convoked for a hundred and seventy-five years; the provincial assemblies, which continue to subsist, do nothing but apportion the taxes; ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... is the "Indian Land in Severalty Bill." It pretends to be in the interest of the Indians, but that pretense is a fraud. It is wholly in the interest of railroad companies, land syndicates, and ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 - Volume 1, Number 6 • Various

... by a slatternly girl and the breakfast she brought to me was so bad (after Mary's cooking) that I could only make a pretense of eating it, but I kept my seat, absorbed by the forms coming and going, almost within the reach of my hand. Among the first to pace slowly by was Lawyer Ricker, stately, solemn and bibulous as ever, his red beard flowing over a vest unbuttoned in the manner of the old-fashioned ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... trial, for trials under it are simply farcical, since neither defense nor appeal is granted. Nearly five hundred revolutionists were put to death under this system, many of them without even the pretense ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... even people who say that it could be done with a less number. It is true that to hear of the great number of troops that this king and others place in the field causes hesitation, and makes one consider and believe nonsensical, inconsiderate, and rash the pretense that so great matters may be effected and attempted with so small a force; yet we should consider that this is God's cause, and should take into account the importance of gaining and establishing friendship with the king of Canboja, who can aid us so powerfully, ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume IX, 1593-1597 • E. H. Blair

... Teach began now to think of breaking up the company and securing the money and the best of the effects for himself and some others of his companions he had most friendship for, and to cheat the rest. Accordingly, on pretense of running into Topsail inlet to clean, he grounded his ship, and then, as if it had been done undesignedly and by accident, he orders Hands' sloop to come to his assistance and get him off again, which he, endeavoring to do, ran the sloop on shore near the other, and so were both ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... the effort was made to leave the impression on the mind that the patient really died of a heart difficulty, though he probably would have died of the congestion, but not so soon. No pretense, however, was made that any unhealthy condition was found about the heart, except in the attending physician's assertion, that, on puncturing the pericardium; a little gas, as he thought, whizzed out, ...
— The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences • Hosea Quinby

... the balance of power and the balance of property do not coincide. This chiefly happens where any rank or order of the state has acquired a large share in the property; but, from the original constitution of the government, has no share in the power. Under what pretense would any individual of that order assume authority in public affairs? As men are commonly much attached to their ancient government, it is not to be expected that the public would ever favor such usurpations. But where ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IV (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland II • Various

... in earnest? Oh dear no! Don't you know that this is a fairy tale, and all fun and pretense; and that you are not to believe one word of it, ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V2 • Charles H. Sylvester

... it so, he never would have been so cordially welcomed into society as he was, for which, according to the abbe de La Porte, he possessed all the qualities required, "an exact honesty, a noble disinterestedness,... a pleasing candour, a charitable soul, a modesty without affectation and without pretense, an extremely sensitive courtesy, and the most scrupulous attention to avoid whatever might offend ...
— A Selection from the Comedies of Marivaux • Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

... distinct perception of the wrongfulness of such a mode of proceeding. The demon of war upholds and justifies falsehood and treachery, in all its forms, on the part of his votaries. He always applauds a forgery, a false pretense, or a lie: he ...
— Cyrus the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... conclusion of the set Stillwell, with no pretense of explanation or apology, left the courts to his enemy who stood waiting his appearance in a silence so oppressive that it seemed to rest like a pall upon the side lines. So overwhelming was Stillwell's ...
— To Him That Hath - A Novel Of The West Of Today • Ralph Connor

... ist geschehen" is the sum of Oriental philosophy. For centuries Moulay Idriss had held out fanatically on its holy steep; then, suddenly, in 1916, its chiefs saw that the game was up, and surrendered without a pretense of resistance. Now the whole thing was over, the new conditions were accepted, and the chief of police assured us that with the French uniform at our side we ...
— In Morocco • Edith Wharton

... floor; unfortunately, it was in a small, close cabin and the fumes affected his head so that he was temporarily ill. These are the facts; and to prove them I have two reliable witnesses. Call in Charlie Bylow and John Lowe." He looked with a pretense of expectation toward the door; getting no response he said: "Humph, not arrived yet. Well, we won't wait. In the meantime, I must say that to my mind altogether too much has been made of this accident and I am satisfied to dismiss the subject if the rest of the ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... should be made and sent directly to Congress by the convention." A wink was as good as a nod with that body, or rather with the cabal which controlled it; and after a virtuous dumb-show of opposition, it made a pretense of yielding to the inevitable, and acted on the official suggestion. This theory is the more plausible because Martin testifies further that he himself drafted the slavery provision which was finally adopted. The third ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... Caroline. Clever, affable, unprincipled, and cynical, he was a perfect type of the Georgian courtier to whom loyalty, patriotism, honesty, and honor were so many synonyms for folly. He was effeminate in habits and appearance, but notoriously licentious; he affected to scoff at learning but made some pretense to literature, and had written 'Four Epistles after the Manner of Ovid', and numerous political pamphlets. Pope, who had some slight personal acquaintance with him, disliked his political connections and probably despised his verses, and ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... did not think I could," she said. She dried her eyes quickly and rose to her feet. "It is very silly of me, I know, but I cannot help it in the least," said she, turning from him in pretense of arranging ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... asked this question Miss Mills bent suddenly forward under the pretense of trying to arrange ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... made as he entered my office, with his air of the man whose hands have never known the stains of toil, with his manner of having always received deferential treatment. There was no pretense in my curt greeting, my tone of "despatch your business, sir, and be gone"; for I was both busy and much irritated against him. "I guess you want to see our cashier," said I, after giving him a ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... to people's houses," protested he, knowing I'd not realize what a flimsy pretense ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... a purpose, which is to suggest to the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in those countries before him. I make small pretense of showing anyone how he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea—other books do that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... of nice observation, and now bewildered with anger and headache, took his son's genuine astonishment for mere pretense and subterfuge. ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... believe it. They just pretended, and there is no pretense between Anthony and me"—she stooped and kissed me—"they just pretended, Elizabeth, and the reason that I love Anthony is because ...
— The Gay Cockade • Temple Bailey

... in his book "Experimental Psychology and Culture,"—says "In mental measurements, therefore, there is no pretense of taking the mind's measure as a whole, nor is there usually any immediate intention of testing even some special faculty or capacity of the individual. What is aimed at is the measurement of a limited event in consciousness, such as a particular ...
— The Psychology of Management - The Function of the Mind in Determining, Teaching and - Installing Methods of Least Waste • L. M. Gilbreth

... animals, but stand rather low in the human scale. Duplicity is the habitual speaking or acting with intent to appear to mean what one does not. Dissimulation is rather a concealing of what is than a pretense of what is not. Finesse is simply an adroit and delicate management of a matter for one's own side, not necessarily involving deceit. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... have been glad to shout his age, his dyes, his artificialities, to all the crowd, so to touch him where it would most pain him! For was he not the vainest man in the whole world? How well I knew his vulnerable point: the monstrous depth of his vanity in that pretense of youth which he preserved through superhuman pains and a genius of a valet, most excellently! I had much to pay Antonio for myself, more for my father, most for my mother. This was why that last of all the ...
— The Beautiful Lady • Booth Tarkington

... be ready at the third watch of the night. His withdrawing to his inner chamber and closing the great door after him, meant that I was to go in to him by the back door, and that he would make clear the great truth to me in secret." Accordingly he waited until evening, and made a pretense of lying down to sleep with the other disciples. But when the third watch of the night had come he rose softly and crept to the back door. Sure enough it stood ajar. He slipped in and stepped before the Master's bed. The Master was sleeping with his face turned toward ...
— The Chinese Fairy Book • Various

... This shallow pretense, scarcely up to the sagacity of children, by which Blackfish hoped that two savages grappling each one of the commissioners would easily be able to make prisoners of them, and then by threats of torture compel the ...
— Daniel Boone - The Pioneer of Kentucky • John S. C. Abbott

... unsuited to the maturity of Greece, and called into real working only on rare occasions, when its efficiency happened to fall in with the views of Athens, Thebes, or the king of Macedon. In such special moments it shines with a transient light which affords a partial pretense for the imposing title bestowed on it by Cicero—commune Graeciae concilium; but we should completely misinterpret Grecian history if we regarded it as a federal council habitually directed or habitually obeyed. Had there ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... auditory and other sensations. We have seen that it is a state of tertiary formation and very complex. There is required, then, (1) that the elements constituting imagination be determined in a rigorous manner, but the foregoing analysis makes no pretense of being definitive; (2) that each of these constitutive elements may be strictly related to its anatomic conditions. It is evident that we are far from possessing the ...
— Essay on the Creative Imagination • Th. Ribot

... mother on a day when the yard was full of Dooleys and Bowmans and Calvins—Calvins, whom Mrs. Nesbit regarded as inferior even to the Dooleys because of the vast Calvin pretense—"Jim, Laura has inherited that common Indiana streak of yours. I can't make her a Satterthwaite—she's Indiana to the bone. Why, when I go to town with her, every drayman and ditch digger and stableman calls to her, and the yard is always full of their ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... and slippery villain, young man, but you cannot throw me off the scent by any such pretense as this. I've trapped too many criminals, and heard their smooth talk. Let me tell you that I heard your confession to your wife, that you murdered Victoria Vane and robbed ...
— Five Thousand Dollars Reward • Frank Pinkerton

... valuable animal. He aids the shepherd in keeping the flock together whenever any of them show a disposition to straggle, and the sheep speedily learn to know him and regard him as their friend. He never injures them, though he frequently makes a great pretense of doing so. Sometimes he takes a refractory sheep by the ear, or seizes it by the wool on his neck, but the case is exceedingly rare where he perpetrates an ...
— The Land of the Kangaroo - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey through the Great Island Continent • Thomas Wallace Knox

... all one," the girl explained, "but Grandaddy keeps up the pretense of operating one of his own—wants to compete with Father in management—in livestock, in methods. It's the Old Pioneer versus the Progressive. Longhorn versus thoroughbred, and Daddy indulges and encourages him ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... cells of his mind. There was nothing as elementary as telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, or the like; it was the pure, raw Gunther of the Gunther Drive, which even he himself made no pretense of understanding fully. He opened those cells and pushed that knowledge at the two ...
— The Galaxy Primes • Edward Elmer Smith

... does exhibit Schiller's historical style at its best, there being here, in comparison with his earlier work, somewhat less of heavy philosophical ballast. The narrative moves more lightly. There is this time not even a pretense of erudite scholarship. He does not quote authorities, rarely indulges in polemic, avoids tedious 'negotiations' and all political disquisitions which might be dull reading to the 'female fellow-citizens' for whom he writes. He endeavors ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... for the beginning of the period with which we have first to deal must not be regarded as making any pretense to exactitude. We have no means of assigning a definite date to any of the most primitive-looking pieces of Greek sculpture. All that can be said is that works which can be confidently dated about the ...
— A History Of Greek Art • F. B. Tarbell

... crackling in the underbrush was followed by a momentary darkening of the open door of the cabin. It was the tall figure of the mountaineer. But he did not even make the pretense of entering; standing at the door he delivered his news to the interior generally. It was to the effect that everything was ready, and the two other men were even then harnessing the horses. Then he ...
— Tales of Trail and Town • Bret Harte

... a pretense of drinking with Yates, but they did not take much. Yates, however, continued to "hit the bottle hard." His face became flushed, and his eyes glowed as Flemming continued to tell him of ...
— Frank Merriwell's Races • Burt L. Standish

... I was at breakfast, when Alphonse said to me: "I made last night sir, pretense of following monsieur, and discovered that another man was doing the same thing. Circumstances permitted me to observe that he was stupid, but monsieur will perceive that either I am mistrusted by the police, or that the affair of madame ...
— A Diplomatic Adventure • S. Weir Mitchell

... but now, Sophia having formed a desperate plan to save herself from the dangers that surrounded her, and knowing that these men would unscrupulously execute any commands that were given to them by their leaders, directed Galitzin to bring them within the walls, under pretense to do honor to Mazeppa for the important services which he had rendered during the war. But this measure was very unpopular with the people, and, although the Cossacks were actually brought within the walls, they were subjected to such restrictions there that, after all, Sophia could ...
— Peter the Great • Jacob Abbott

... us, he has orders to fire, on the chance of our hearing him. A little notion of mine, sir, to prevent our being surprised in the fog. Do you see any objection to it?' Objection! In the days when diplomacy was something more than a solemn pretense, what a member of Congress that gardener would have made! Well, we shipped our oars, and away we went. Not quite haphazard—for we had a compass with us. Our course was as straight as we could go, to a village on the opposite side of the lake, called Brightfold. ...
— The Evil Genius • Wilkie Collins

... share in your councils. If our advance had been approved, if your majesty had trusted us... if your majesty had permitted me to march into the kingdom of Valencia, when I so earnestly desired it, without making me stay under pretense of the march of imaginary troops; if your majesty would have believed me on that occasion, your majesty would have had this time not only a viceroy of Valencia but the kingdom. With what force I have I am going to march straight to Valencia. I can take ...
— The Bravest of the Brave - or, with Peterborough in Spain • G. A. Henty

... asked for an interview as M. Destange's new secretary, she had scented danger, guessed the visitor's name and object and, coolly, naturally, as though she were really doing what she appeared to do, had summoned Lupin to her aid, under the pretense of speaking to one of her tradespeople and by means of a ...
— The Blonde Lady - Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsne Lupin and the English Detective • Maurice Leblanc

... from a deep appreciation of God's goodness and mercy. Only those who obey God have this kind. We may shout God's praise loud enough to be heard two blocks away; but if we are not obeying him, he knows it is a pretense, and it will not work the machine. One may be ever so enthusiastic, and seem to be very happy, but if he is not obeying God, what he gets does not come out of God's joy-machine. Praise amounts to much when there is obedience back of it, but is nothing ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor

... of an armie tended to none other end, but onlie for the safegard of their owne persons, and to put some better gouernment in the commonwealth. For whereas taxes and tallages were dailie leuied, vnder pretense to be imploied in defence of the realme, the same were vainlie wasted, and vnprofitablie consumed: and where through the slanderous reports of their enimies, the king had taken a greeuous displeasure with them, they durst not appeare personallie in the kings presence, vntill the prelats and barons ...
— Chronicles (3 of 6): Historie of England (1 of 9) - Henrie IV • Raphael Holinshed

... could find was selected, first carefully examining it to detect any leak. On some pretense or other, we then rolled them all over to that side of the vessel where our boat was suspended, the selected breaker ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... approached by any one, and they are led away by many. Sometimes the ever-watchful and lynx-eyed Chinaman singles out some pretty little girl, on the pretense that he has some curious things to show her in his laundry. Sometimes an old, eminently respectable gentleman (?) has a package of candy for the little girls. Sometimes, again, bright-eyed young girls ...
— Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations • William Howe

... was no expert. But it was certainly some kind of drug. Judging by the avid way the other slaves were gulping it down, each one of them had been exposed to it before. Hanson cautiously made the pretense of swallowing his before he allowed it to slip through his fingers to mingle with the sand. Drug addiction was obviously a convenient way to make the slaves forget their aches and fears, to keep them everlasting anxious to please whatever was necessary to make sure the precious, deadly ...
— The Sky Is Falling • Lester del Rey

... about the room, where portly Mrs. Haverford was still knitting placidly, where the Chris Valentines were quarreling under pretense of raillery, where Toots Hayden was smoking a cigaret in a corner and smiling up at Graham, and where Natalie, exquisite and precise, was supervising the laying out of a ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... this mele, which is a love-song, have defied the author's most strenuous efforts to penetrate their deeper meaning. No Hawaiian consulted has made a pretense of understanding it wholly. The Philistines of the middle of the nineteenth century, into whose hands it fell, have not helped matters by the emendations and interpolations with which they slyly interlarded the text, as if to set before us in a strong light the stigmata ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... nothing truly [their words are merely an argument ad hominem], frankly, and candidly in this entire case, but they actually contend only concerning the dominion which they falsely think to be imperiled, and which they endeavor to fortify with a wicked pretense of godliness [they support their case with nothing but impious, hypocritical lies; accordingly, it will endure about as well as butter ...
— The Apology of the Augsburg Confession • Philip Melanchthon

... an extortionate profit, pocketing his money and delivering the merchandise; then the customers had streamed in in a constantly increasing throng, jostling and worrying the old man, finally crowding him aside and taking all he had without pretense of payment. And thus it was throughout the war; if many peasants concealed their property and even denied a drink of water to the thirsty soldier, it was because of their fear of the irresistible inroads of that ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... head-lines that told of a starving boy sent out on a hopeless assignment as a cruel joke; he read the story as it had really occurred, only told in the third person by an author who was neither ashamed nor afraid to give credit where it was due. The egotistical pretense of The Buffalo Intelligencer was torn to shreds, and ridicule was heaped upon its editor. Paul read nervously, breathlessly, until ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... that was an ugly twist of the hand!" he cried shrilly. "Next time, turn your sledge by the rib instead of the nose, when your dogs are still in the traces!" Under his breath he whispered, as he made pretense of looking at Jan's hand: "Le diable, do you want to tell HIM?" Jan tried to laugh as Croisset came ...
— The Honor of the Big Snows • James Oliver Curwood

... the accusation; let us examine each particular of it. It says that I act unjustly in corrupting the youth. But I, O Athenians! say that Melitus acts unjustly, because he jests on serious subjects, rashly putting men upon trial, under pretense of being zealous and solicitous about things in which he never at any time took any concern. But that this is the case I will ...
— Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates • Plato

... side, we do but studiously follow your precedents in safeguarding him from direct assault. If we did but secure his economic basis so far as to avert death by direct effect of hunger and cold as your pauper laws made a pretense of doing, we should be like a State in your day which forbade outright murder but permitted every kind of assault that fell short of it. Distress and deprivation resulting from economic want falling short of ...
— Equality • Edward Bellamy

... concealing his third marriage from President Cleveland, he continued living with his three wives. His action in this matter has been notorious. He has publicly defended this kind of lawbreaking on the false pretense that there was a tacit understanding with the American Congress and people, when Utah was admitted, that these polygamists might continue to live ...
— Conditions in Utah - Speech of Hon. Thomas Kearns of Utah, in the Senate of the United States • Thomas Kearns

... cloak," said the duke, who had feigned this long story on purpose to have a pretense to get off the cloak; so upon saying these words he caught hold of Valentine's cloak and, throwing it back, he discovered not only the ladder of ropes but also a letter of Silvia's, which he instantly opened and read; ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... here simply to add, that their exclusion from our schools would be even more sectarian than their perverted use; for the atheistical plan, which forbids the entrance of the Bible into multitudes of our schools, under the pretense of excluding sectarianism, shuts out Christianity, and establishes the influence of a single sect, that would dethrone the Creator, and break up every bond of ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... extremely wrong of you!" exclaims Miss Massereene, as successfully shocked as though the thought that he might be tempted to such a deed has never occurred to her. Yet, true to her nature, she makes no faintest pretense at withdrawing from him her hand until a full minute has elapsed. Then, unable longer to restrain herself, she bursts into a merry laugh,—a laugh ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... says (De QQ. Evang. ii), "To pretend is not always a lie: but only when the pretense has no signification, then it is a lie. When, however, our pretense refers to some signification, there is no lie, but a representation of the truth." And he cites figures of speech as an example, where a thing is "pretended," for we do not mean ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... to formulate as the recipe for duck a la rouennaise or spring chicken au gros sel. Not fifty lines are needed, but two or three hundred, and even then I should have told you only my way of working, which has no general significance and makes no pretense to being the best. It's natural with me, that's all. Besides, you will find it indicated in part in the preface to 'La Haine' and in a letter which I wrote to La ...
— How to Write a Play - Letters from Augier, Banville, Dennery, Dumas, Gondinet, - Labiche, Legouve, Pailleron, Sardou, Zola • Various

... intelligent cooeperation instead of a reckless competition. We stand for mutual helpfulness instead of mutual hatred. We stand for equal rights as a fact of life instead of a catch-word of politics. We stand for the rule of the people as a practical truth instead of a meaningless pretense. We stand for a representative government that represents the people. We battle for ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... scene is for to-morrow. In the hospital. This is where you are looking after the wounded officer, Ruth, and Alice, on pretense of being a nurse seeking to give aid, comes in to get the papers. I want this very carefully done, as it is one of the climaxes of the whole play. So we'll have some rehearsals ...
— The Moving Picture Girls in War Plays - Or, The Sham Battles at Oak Farm • Laura Lee Hope

... with wonderful self-command, "you are exciting yourself to no purpose. You asked me if I pretended to be her mother. I do pretend, but I admit frankly that it is all pretense." ...
— Jack's Ward • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... Glenby without even making the poor pretense of asking me to accompany him. I spent the time of his absence overseeing the construction of a new greenhouse I was having built. I was conscientious in my supervision; but I felt no interest in it. The place was intended for ...
— Further Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... up the pretense?" cried Lord Town brake. "Know, you villain barber, that your master, the Marquis de Mirepoix, is ...
— Monsieur Beaucaire • Booth Tarkington

... his commands for battalions and magazines to be collected there. The spies who visited Dijon, reported that but a few regiments were assembled in that place, and that the announcement was clearly a very weak pretense to deceive. The print shops of London and Vienna were filled with caricatures of the army of the First Consul of Dijon. The English especially made themselves very merry with Napolcon's grand army to scale the Alps. It was believed that the energies the Republic ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... truth—not the truth of policy, but religious truth—your manners will be sincere. They will have earnestness, simplicity, and frankness—the best qualities of manners. They will be free from assumption, pretense, affectation, flattery, and obsequiousness, which are all incompatible with sincerity. If you have sincerity, you will choose to appear no other, nor better, than you are—to dwell in ...
— The Ladies' Vase - Polite Manual for Young Ladies • An American Lady

... fighting men are not easy to hide, that the Kaiser also would not see it. It was a very forlorn hope. The Allies also cherished a hope. It was that Constantine not only would look the other way while they slipped across his country, but would cast off all pretense of neutrality and join them. So, as far as was possible, they avoided giving offense. They assisted him in his pretense of neutrality. And that was what caused the situation. It was worthy of a comic opera. Before the return of the allied troops to Salonika, there ...
— With the French in France and Salonika • Richard Harding Davis

... communists so dogmatically urge. "Pending ... an inquiry," writes Mr. Wallas, "my own provisional opinion is that, like a good many instincts of very early evolutionary origin, it can be satisfied by an avowed pretense; just as a kitten which is fed regularly on milk can be kept in good health if it is allowed to indulge its hunting instinct by playing with a bobbin, and a peaceful civil servant satisfies his instinct of combat and adventure ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... ordered her breakfast and received it, but she was far too excited to make more than a pretense at eating. It was almost as if the Countess de Mattos were playing into her hands. It seemed too good to be true. She was afraid that something would happen to ruin all; that she would lose her head, and by her precipitancy put the other ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... exposed by competent authors and their works are accessible to all. That any one who claims to believe the Bible should give his time to teaching innocent and uninformed children and adults the conclusions of rationalistic criticism seems almost too absurd to believe; and when it is done under the pretense of honoring the Bible, it is but another illustration of how our moral and intellectual vision can be warped and distorted when we look through the colored glasses of rationalism ...
— To Infidelity and Back • Henry F. Lutz

... Ocky had expressed a casual longing and which the marts of Hambleton could not provide. On the first occasion he pretended they were for Lucy Varr, still confined to her room, but on the second he abandoned pretense. ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... at last, so spotless that even a pretense of further cleaning was ridiculous. I held it level with my eye and squinted through ...
— The Rise of Roscoe Paine • Joseph C. Lincoln

... like the next ideal, often shades over by almost imperceptible gradation into the passive movements by the Zander machines. Realizing that certain activities are sufficiently or too much emphasized in ordinary life, stress is laid upon those which are complemental to them, so that there is no pretense of taking charge of the totality of motor processes, the intention being principally to supplement deficiencies, to insure men against being warped, distorted, or deformed by their work in life, to compensate specialties and perform more exactly ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... He immediately abandoned all pretense of working. To him it seemed that the climax of the turpentine had come instantly; there was no more working up about it than there was about a live red coal. The mordant tooth bit into his blood; he rose and tramped ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... seated themselves reluctantly on the grassy bank beside me, and gazed out in the dignity of an imagined manhood across my river, which now was lighted bravely by the retiring sun. Had I not felt with them, longed with them, they could never so splendidly have maintained their pretense. But between us, there in the evening on my stream with only the birds and the sun to see, it was not pretense. Upon the contrary, all cloaks were off, all masks removed, and we were face to face in the strong light of reality. As clearly as though I always had known them, I saw into the ...
— The Lady and the Pirate - Being the Plain Tale of a Diligent Pirate and a Fair Captive • Emerson Hough

... were, and even should be granted, I ask, as a reasonable question, By what means is such a corrupt and faithless court to be kept to its engagements? Another parliament, nay, even the present, may hereafter repeal the obligation, on the pretense, of its being violently obtained, or unwisely granted; and in that case, Where is our redress?—No going to law with nations; cannon are the barristers of Crowns; and the sword, not of justice, but of war, decides the suit. To ...
— Common Sense • Thomas Paine

... of sham made Harrietta sick. She, whose very art was that of pretending, hated pretense, affectation, "coy stuff." This was, perhaps, unfortunate. Your Fatigued Financier prefers the comedy form in which a spade is not only called a spade but a slab of iron for digging up dirt. Harrietta never even pretended to have a cough on an opening ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... the servant could have secured this with no effort on his part. His charge against the master was a mere pretence to excuse his own want of personal faithfulness, and the master's reply was fitted to this pretense. ...
— Usury - A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View • Calvin Elliott

... an infrequent occurrence for persons given to the habit of petty thefts and fraud, to seek to justify their irregular conduct by a pretense of justice which they call secret compensation. They stand arraigned before the bar of their conscience on the charge of niching small sums, usually from their employers; they have no will to desist; they therefore plead not guilty, and have nothing ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... that an accurate knowledge of these things is less necessary now than formerly. It has seemed to us that some public performers of the present day were cloaking their inability to play or sing with rhythmic accuracy under a pretense of being highly artistic and flexible in their rhythmic feeling. Needless to say, the existence of such a state of affairs is to be greatly deplored and the student is admonished to make sure that he is able to perform every detail of his music with metronomic accuracy ...
— Essentials in Conducting • Karl Wilson Gehrkens

... have been captured through the efforts of a young boy was almost inconceivable to the police, especially to the State detectives whom they had continually outwitted. And yet here they were in the dock and the town officers made not the slightest pretense that any part of the glory of their apprehension belonged to them. To Ted Turner's prompt action, and to that alone, the ...
— Ted and the Telephone • Sara Ware Bassett

... the mill," until the softness is pretty well ground out and little remains but the granite-like muscle of manhood. He is a pretty stern proposition; and if there is anything he won't stand it is pretense, make-believe. But show yourself worthy of him and willing for his comradeship, and you have begun life with the best, readiest, bravest partner you ...
— The Young Man and the World • Albert J. Beveridge

... and integrity of the people of America and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause and remove every colorable pretense of complaint; if an intention to pursue by amicable negotiation a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and if success can not be obtained, ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... passage seemed to have grown shabbier and meaner as Paul, slowly and hesitatingly, descended to the street. At the foot of the stairs he paused irresolutely, and loitered with a vague idea of turning back on some pretense, only that he might relieve himself of the sense of desertion. He had already determined upon making that inquiry into the colonel's personal and pecuniary affairs which he had not dared to offer personally, and had a half-formed ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... the lacing and painting and crimping, the pretense and lies and carefully planned accidental effects, filled her with revolt. The insinuations of women, the bareness of their revelations, her mother returning unsteady and mussed from a dinner, were unutterably disgusting. Even to think ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... These turbulent tradesmen were content with ridding London of this power-mad woman, and they went back satisfied to their homes, leaving the city open to occupation by the partisans of Stephen, who entered it under pretense of an alliance with the citizens. The Bishop of Winchester, who seems to have been something of a weathercock in his political faith, turned again to his brothers side, set Stephen's banner afloat on Windsor Castle ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... to the freshmen than almost any other class celebration, for the sophomores, having thrown off freshman shackles, took a lively hand in the affairs of the members of the entering class. It was sophomores who under pretense of sympathetic interest wormed out of unsuspecting freshmen their inmost secrets and gleefully spread them abroad among the upper classes. It was also the sophomores who were the most active in enforcing the standard that erring freshmen were supposed to live up to. The junior and senior ...
— Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... was prepared the travellers sat down to the substantial fare. None were hungry—be it remembered that it was three o'clock in the morning—but each felt that some pretense in that direction must be made, or the kindly couple would think their ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... the staircases scraped and cleaned; and the jailers seemed to be carefully engaged in polishing the very keys. As for the soldiers belonging to the garrison, they were walking about in different courtyards, under the pretense that they were clean enough. The governor, Baisemeaux, received D'Artagnan with more than ordinary politeness, but he behaved towards him with so marked a reserve of manner, that all D'Artagnan's tact and cleverness could not get a syllable out of him. The more he kept himself within bounds, the ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... present as one. Aileen was chagrined. Her voice showed it. They had been scheduled to go to dinner with the Hoecksemas, and afterward to the theater. Cowperwood suggested that she should go alone, but Aileen declined rather sharply; she hung up the receiver without even the pretense of a good-by. And then at ten o'clock he telephoned again, saying that he had changed his mind, and that if she were interested to go anywhere—a later supper, or the like—she should dress, otherwise he would ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... any one, who lived as Commodus was said to do, could drive a chariot and wield a javelin as Paulus did. Whoever faced a Roman gladiator under the critical gaze of a crowd that knew all the points of fighting and could instantly detect, and did instantly resent pretense, fraud, trickery, the poor condition of one combatant or the unwillingness of one man to have at another in deadly earnest, had to be not only in the pink of bodily condition but a fighter such as no drunken sensualist could ever hope to be. So it was easy to suppress ...
— Caesar Dies • Talbot Mundy

... breaks out in his heart-broken bewilderment and unwittingly condemns the whole spirit and pretense of Puritanism. The Puritans fled from the wicked old world for purity's sake, they were relentless in prayer, they were absolutely under the control of the church and clergy, and yet, their Governor says that sin flourished more ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... but I am unwilling to quarrel with him, lest I should be denied entrance into a house which you inhabit; I have been endeavouring to prevail with him to give up his absurd new scheme, but I find him impenetrable:-I have therefore determined to make a pretense for suddenly leaving this place, dear as it is to me, and containing all I most admire and adore;-and I will stay in town till the violence of this boobyish ...
— Evelina • Fanny Burney

... occasional seizure of parish lands or funds by the Queen's commissioners for concealed lands. See Strype's strong language in his Ann. of the Ref. (Oxon. ed.), ii, Pt. i, 310. He speaks of the unjust oppressions of courtiers and other griping men, 'harpies' and 'hell-hounds,' who, under the pretense of commissions, "did intermeddle and challenge land of long times possessed by churchwardens, and such like, upon the charitable gifts of predecessors ... yea and certain stocks of money, plate, cattle ...
— The Elizabethan Parish in its Ecclesiastical and Financial Aspects • Sedley Lynch Ware

... two horses chummed together whenever Ward was at the Wolverine. Billy Louise pulled up and waited till Rattler reached her. He and Blue rubbed noses, and Blue laid back his ears and shook his head with teeth bared, in playful pretense of anger. Rattler kicked up his heels in disdain at the threat and trotted ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... A pretense of hauling up the mainsail was made aboard the Spot Cash. There was an immediate stir on the deck of the Black Eagle; the hands were ...
— Billy Topsail & Company - A Story for Boys • Norman Duncan

... gentleman fumed and fretted, however, in a subdued fashion; at last wisely turning his back, he began to stalk down the platform, under pretense of examining ...
— Five Little Peppers Midway • Margaret Sidney

... and the product of many silk dresses ("scarcely soiled") in furnishing that objectionable and disreputable suitor of hers with funds for his extravagance. He has beggared two or three of her acquaintance already, under the same flimsy pretense of intended marriage, that scarcely deludes poor Abigail; she has sore misgivings as to her own fate. Alternately he bullies and cajoles, but all the while she knows that he is lying, deliberately and incessantly, yet she never remonstrates or complains. It ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... performance at the range the evening before, and go on shooting until one or other of them had hit the target. When he heard Goujart proposing that he should shake hands with his adversary, who advanced chivalrously towards him with his perpetual smile, he was exasperated by the pretense of the whole thing. Angrily he hurled his pistol away, pushed Goujart aside, and flung himself upon Lucien Levy-Coeur. They were hard put to it to keep him from going on with the fight with ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... there was no fishing, it grew very dull loitering about the Hall, and since he did not read much, like Godwin, sitting for long hours by the fire at night watching Rosamund going to and fro upon her tasks, but not speaking with her overmuch. For notwithstanding all their pretense of forgetfulness, some sort of veil had fallen between the brethren and Rosamund, and their intercourse was not so open and familiar as of old. She could not but remember that they were no more her cousins only, but her lovers also, and that she must guard herself lest she ...
— The Brethren • H. Rider Haggard

... created king, the ambitious & slie practises of duke Vortigerne to aspire to the gouernment, he procureth certeine Picts and Scots to kill the king who had reteined them for the gard of his person, his craftie deuises and deepe dissimulation vnder the pretense of innocencie, he winneth the peoples harts, and is ...
— Chronicles 1 (of 6): The Historie of England 5 (of 8) - The Fift Booke of the Historie of England. • Raphael Holinshed

... respectful familiarity and the modest consciousness, characteristic of every secretary, of superiority to his chief in the knowledge of their business; he went up to Oblonsky with some papers, and began, under pretense of asking a question, to explain some objection. Stepan Arkadyevitch, without hearing him out, laid his hand genially on the ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... are in skillfully and artfully contriving devices from within for overreaching their companions the more evil are their works. And the more expert they are in bringing such devices into effect under the pretense of sincerity, justice, and piety, the more evil still are their works. The more delight a merchant feels in such things the more do his works have ...
— Spiritual Life and the Word of God • Emanuel Swedenborg

... beneath that suave, polished exterior! Yet how ill he had concealed it! For intuitively she had always recognized its presence, but had deliberately closed her eyes, finding a joy in the secret knowledge of danger. Now at last he had discarded pretense. ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... o'clock of a raw winter afternoon, he stopped at her house, intending under a pretense of a craving for hot tea to win Kitty to speech of her friend Marcia. Well-simulated shivers, a reference to the biting air, would secure his cousin's solicitude, then, at perhaps the third cup, he would in a spontaneous ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... and be prepared to drop his letter into the box immediately on the top of it. Another operative was then to await the visit of the postman on his round for collection, when he would step up to him and making a pretense of a mistake in the address of a letter which he had mailed, would from its position be enabled to obtain a glimpse of the suspected letters ...
— The Burglar's Fate And The Detectives • Allan Pinkerton

... to and pretense to enter the box next to the right end (right one), and then choice of some other box. This feint is peculiarly interesting, and its origin and persistence are difficult ...
— The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes - A Study of Ideational Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... the conscientious biographer, "from any vain Partiality for high-sounding names, or any poor Pretense of good blood, which were most out of place in this our Republic, made so by the Genius and enduring Fortitude of all classes of Men, that I claim for Mary Twining stately Lineage, but that when such Accidents fall in the lives of Human Beings, it is not ...
— A Christmas Accident and Other Stories • Annie Eliot Trumbull

... came the rustlers, every one of them except Doubleday's old foreman, Abe Hawk, who scorned all pretense of compromise. He advised Laramie not to go near the celebration. When Laramie intimated he might go, Abe was greatly incensed. A master of bitter sarcasm, he trained his batteries on his sandy-haired friend and these failing ...
— Laramie Holds the Range • Frank H. Spearman

... Crane and Keith made pretense of building camps and starting to log. But one difficulty after another descended on their operations. In the spring, when each of them should have had several millions of feet of spruce ready to ...
— Scattergood Baines • Clarence Budington Kelland

... The stranger appeared cool, careless, indifferent. Perhaps he knew, as the others present knew, that this show of Fletcher's, this pretense of introduction, was merely talk ...
— The Lone Star Ranger • Zane Grey

... time great changes had occurred in Spain. Charles IV, its weak monarch, saw the French army invading his country under the pretense of going to Portugal, and feared that Napoleon would end by wresting the Spanish throne from him. If he allied himself with Napoleon, England could easily seize America, and should he ally himself with England, he would make an enemy ...
— Simon Bolivar, the Liberator • Guillermo A. Sherwell

... and uniformly disclaimed all intention of pursuing, from the very outset of the troubles. Abandoning thus our old ground, of resistance only to arbitrary acts of oppression, the nations will believe the whole to have been mere pretense, and they will look on us, not as injured, but as ambitious subjects. I shudder before this responsibility. It will be on us, if, relinquishing the ground we have stood on so long, and stood on so safely we now proclaim independence, and carry on the war for that object, ...
— Thomas Jefferson • Edward S. Ellis et. al.

... did you get, Braith?" asked Rhodes, who couldn't keep his mind off the subject and made no pretense of trying. ...
— In the Quarter • Robert W. Chambers

... pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... aside all pretense, and all his cold hatred for me is apparent," she thought, not hearing his words, but watching with terror the cold, cruel judge who looked mocking her ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... consented without demur to the coming-out party, and he had taken, during all the morning of the great day, a most mundane interest in the boxes of flowers that came in every few minutes. He stood inside a window, under pretense of having no place to sit ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... "During the six years we have been together and you have been our friend, he has often pretended to be jealous. This time there was something in his voice that made me believe it was more than pretense. It is the first time he has ever left ...
— The Devil - A Tragedy of the Heart and Conscience • Joseph O'Brien

... declared even the cool, shaded drawing-room, with its sweet scents and mellowed light, to be too warm; so they had gone out on to the lawn, where a sweet western wind was blowing. Lady Peters had taken with her a book, which she made some pretense of reading, but over which her eyes closed in most suspicious fashion. The duchess, too, had a book, but she made no pretense of opening it—her beautiful face had a restless, half-wistful expression. They had quitted the drawing-room all together, but Madaline had gone to gather some peaches. ...
— Wife in Name Only • Charlotte M. Braeme (Bertha M. Clay)

... position on the part of our Government had any important effect in hastening final results. I have thought it not amiss, however, to call attention to the fact that a century ago the people of this country were not seeking to gain governmental benefit by clandestine approach and cunning pretense, but were apt to plainly present their wants and grievances, and to openly demand such consideration and care from the General Government as was their due under the mandate of popular rule, and that in making their demands ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... . . The English Government and the English people without regard to party—I hear it and feel it everywhere—are of one mind about this: they think we have acted dishonourably. They really think so—it isn't any mere political or diplomatic pretense. We made a bargain, they say, and we have repudiated it. If it were a mere bluff or game or party contention—that would be one thing. We could "bull" it through or live it down. But they look upon it as we look upon the repudiation of a debt by a state. Whatever the arguments by which the state ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... of them,' I thought. 'He walks and implores and wrings his hand and babbles, 'blood, blood that was real.' And there is nothing to be done with him. Another pathologic symptom asks the hospitality of Mallare, and I must make the proper pretense ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... Mr. Birnes stepped out, hardly half a block behind the closed cab. He went through an elaborate pretense of paying Jimmy, the while he regarded Mr. Wynne, who had also alighted and was paying the driver. The small sole-leather grip was on the ground between his feet as he ransacked his pocketbook. A settlement was reached, ...
— The Diamond Master • Jacques Futrelle



Words linked to "Pretense" :   imaging, affectation, semblance, imagery, misrepresentation, bluff, show, lip service, mental imagery, pretend, guise, masquerade, false pretense, dissimulation, imagination, colour, affectedness, deception, stalking-horse, mannerism, deceit, color, pose, pretext, gloss, appearance, pretentious, hypocrisy, artificiality



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