English Thesaurus

Synonyms of 'pretence'

(noun) 
Definition
an action or claim that could mislead people into believing something which is not true
struggling to keep up the pretence that all was well
Synonyms
deception
He admitted conspiring to obtain property by deception.
, , , , ,
faking
, ,
deceit
The suspect was found guilty of theft, fraud and deceit on an incredible scale.
,
feigning
, ,
make-believe
She squandered her millions on a life of make-believe.
,
trickery
They will resort to trickery in order to impress their clients.
, ,
subterfuge
Most people can see right through that type of subterfuge.
,
fakery
Opposites
(noun) 
Definition
a false display
She was completely without guile or pretence.
Synonyms
show
The change in government is more for show than for real.
,
posturing
, ,
affectation
She writes well, without fuss or affectation.
, ,
appearance
They gave the appearance of being on both sides.
,
posing
, ,
veneer
He was able to fool people with his veneer of intellectuality.
,
pretentiousness
,
hokum (slang, mainly US, Canadian)
Opposites
(noun) 
Definition
a pretext
He claimed the police beat him up under the pretence that he was resisting arrest.
Synonyms
pretext
They wanted a pretext to restart the war.
He excused himself on the pretext of a stomach ache.
, ,
excuse
It was just an excuse to get out of going to school.
,
show
We need to make a show of acknowledging their expertise.
,
cover
The grocery store was just a cover for their betting shop.
,
mask
His mask cracked, and she saw an angry and violent man.
,
veil
She swathed her face in a veil of decorative muslin.
,
cloak
Individualism is sometimes used as a cloak for self-interest.
,
guise
The workers are being dismissed under the guise of a reorganization.
,
façade
At work they hid their dislike of each other behind a façade of cheerfulness.
,
masquerade
She claimed that the elections would be a masquerade.
,
semblance
They had nursed Peter back to some semblance of health.
, , ,
(noun) 
Definition
a claim, esp. a false one, to a right, title, or distinction
She never made any pretence that she was an expert on the subject.
Synonyms
,
profession
a profession of faith
,

Additional synonyms

in the sense of affectation
Definition
an attitude or manner put on to impress others
She writes well, without fuss or affectation.
Synonyms
posing,
posturing,
act,
pretentiousness,
hokum (slang, US, Canadian),
artificiality,
fakery,
affectedness,
assumed manners,
false display,
unnatural imitation
in the sense of appearance
They gave the appearance of being on both sides.
in the sense of cloak
Definition
something that covers or conceals
Individualism is sometimes used as a cloak for self-interest.
Synonyms
front (informal),
smoke screen,
smoke and mirrors

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Video: pronunciation of 'pretence'

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Thesaurus for pretence from the Collins English Thesaurus
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