Main definitions of pretension in English

: pretension1pretension2

pretension1

noun

  • 1often pretensionsA claim or assertion of a claim to something.

    ‘his pretensions to the imperial inheritance’
    mass noun ‘all that we cannot tolerate is pretension to infallibility’
    • ‘The question of noble pretension to property, privilege, and power thus emerges as the underlying problem of the old order.’
    • ‘Intelligence's pretension to being objective is a hoax because those parts of it that do not reconfirm the power structure's interests and predetermined policies are ignored and discarded.’
    • ‘It's not exactly simple, but it has no pretensions to art either.’
    • ‘Budgets were cut right back and all pretension to filmmaking disappeared.’
    • ‘As a result, the pretension to universality is all the more justified as researchers find themselves working in decontextualized and highly formalized fields.’
    • ‘By the end of that decade, any pretensions to national independence had become thoroughly discredited.’
    • ‘This much may be expected of a state with pretensions to sovereignty and legitimacy, and certainly this much may be expected of good neighbours.’
    • ‘Another reaction to our new scientific powers is what I will call the Malthusian Pretension - that is, the pretension to the ability to predict mankind's limitations.’
    • ‘The football World Cup is gradually overtaking the Olympic Games as the leading sporting festival because it has never had much pretension to virtue.’
    • ‘Member governments identified where their national interests overlapped, without any pretension to a common foreign policy.’
    • ‘Further irritation comes from the increasing pretension to rationality that Alex's nonsense illustrates.’
    aspiration, claim, assertion, pretence, profession, purporting
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1often pretensions A claim or aspiration to a particular quality.
      ‘another ageing rocker with literary pretensions’
      • ‘If grilled about it in a focus group, I'd admit that the pretensions and some of the practices of social research make me uneasy.’
      • ‘The only one that has been put with any force in favour of work which has no pretensions to literary or artistic merit, is that it may have a psychotherapeutic value.’
      • ‘Despite egalitarian pretensions, America has always been split between the ruling class - and the rest.’
      • ‘It's quite possibly the worst film in the series, and is certainly the most meaningless, despite its shadows of thematic pretensions.’
      • ‘I would also march in the streets for my right to argue against its literary pretensions.’
      • ‘Conrad condemned the abuses of the Belgians, and he condemned a little bit of the excesses and pretensions of the English, but he saw no alternative to colonialism.’
      • ‘All artifice, all human pretensions and deceptions are stripped away, to the extent that the reader has to fight the urge not to avert their eyes, so intimate is what is left.’
      • ‘The pretensions and pieties of national leaders merit an outpouring of derision and scorn.’
      • ‘His own daughters see through his pretensions.’
      • ‘His ideological pretensions, which justified the mass murder of political opponents, had acquired religious overtones.’
      • ‘With its suffocating pretensions and frequent idiocies, television has always cried out for sardonic mockery.’
      • ‘None of the leads have any pretensions of making an astute character study or biting social commentary.’
      • ‘More biased to on-road luxury, with no real sporting pretensions and limited off-road capability.’
      • ‘Preferably female and extremely annoying, with literary pretensions.’
      • ‘The important thing is that no one with literary pretensions should be allowed near the project!’
      • ‘Maybe I'll throw my literary pretensions out of the window for a while and try hurling a few oddly-shaped shards of prose in your direction.’
      • ‘It's all great fun and manages some terrific gags along the way, savaging lots of Hollywood pretensions and familiar scams.’
      • ‘Another teen romance with pretensions of saying something more.’
      • ‘Today, you have a new generation of books and authors with no literary pretensions.’
      • ‘Ellen set aside all pretensions and spoke as honestly as she knew how.’
  • 2mass noun The use of affectation to impress; pretentiousness.

    ‘he spoke simply, without pretension’
    • ‘The men talk about him resentfully, sick of his haughty attitude and pretension.’
    • ‘His trust in us was so refreshing and his attitude so free of pretension that I now regret not doing his ironing.’
    • ‘Located in the heart of West Palm Beach, it's a moneyed, up-market environment, big on designer flash and not short on pose and pretension.’
    • ‘I agree, it's idiotic: pure pretension, a banal triumph of style over substance.’
    • ‘Without such a justification, is there a danger of having the work dismissed as pretension or posturing or, at worse, accused of naiveté?’
    • ‘Crowded around tables the size of Frisbees, people pose in a pageant of pretension.’
    • ‘He has no pretension, no attitude, requires no ‘look at me’ props.’
    • ‘This was a band of the Midwest, no attitude, no pretension and always able to laugh at themselves.’
    • ‘He has staked out his claim for being a great critic through portentousness, pomposity, and extravagant pretension, and, from all appearances, seems to have achieved it.’
    • ‘Rather we read Mark because he is an expert at exposing sham, pretension, and hypocrisy, and because he was the greatest American humorist of the 19th century.’
    • ‘There is often a tendency toward extravagance and pretension.’
    • ‘He started on a downbeat note, reminding us of the Establishment's crawling opening party to launch the channel, which was full of snobbery and intellectual pretension.’
    • ‘I think ‘distasteful,’ ‘gross’ and ‘a new low for your magazine’ are words of snobbery and pretension.’
    • ‘Its very simplicity serves as a correction to the elaborate artifice and pretension - most of it hollow - that pervade current dance-making.’
    • ‘It is rare to see such unusual gifts of public speaking accompanied by such a complete lack of arrogance or pretension.’
    • ‘His formula starts with the best parts of country house hotel cooking - well-sourced raw ingredients and capably prepared, stripped of any pomposity or pretension.’
    • ‘He was totally without ostentation or pretension and totally disinterested in wealth, honours or managerial power.’
    • ‘This is a place with no need for pretension, shameless self-promotion or global snobbery.’
    • ‘Volunteers, on the other hand, are obviously not doing this in the name of any kind of mulish pretension: they simply love the music and feel driven to play it.’
    • ‘When she is there with you, she is simply there, with no pretension, no elaboration, no show.’
    pretentiousness, affectation, affectedness, ostentation, ostentatiousness, artificiality, attitudinizing, airs, posing, posturing, showing off, hypocrisy, snobbery, show, flashiness
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin praetensio(n-), from praetens- ‘alleged’, from the verb praetendere (see pretend).

Pronunciation

pretension

/prɪˈtɛnʃ(ə)n/

Main definitions of pretension in English

: pretension1pretension2

pretension2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Apply tension to (an object) during manufacture or prior to some other process.

    ‘the safety system pretensions the seat belts’
    • ‘The Musso also has ABS brakes, traction control, driver's side airbag, pre-tensioned safety belts and side impact protection bars.’
    • ‘Using the car's many electronic sensors, Pre-Safe can anticipate an accident and pre-tension seatbelts, close windows and move seats into the optimum position before the worst happens.’
    • ‘The passenger bag was an option, but standard also was side impact protection, pre-tensioning seatbelts, and anti-dive front seats.’
    • ‘Mercedes has a similar system on the S-Class called ‘Pre-Safe’ that pre-tensions the seatbelts, adjusts the seats to their optimal crash position if necessary, and closes the sunroof should the vehicle skid.’
    • ‘If the sensor net determined that a collision was imminent, the system could brake the vehicle, pre-charge the airbags, pre-tension the seatbelts, and plot a path to impact that would result in the least likelihood of injury or death.’
    1. 1.1 Strengthen (reinforced concrete) by applying tension to the reinforcing rods before the concrete has set.
      • ‘Dowel bars are similar steel bars installed across joints to provide resistance to shear, but are not pre-tensioned.’
      • ‘Effectively an evolution of the familiar DSC traction control system, DSC + offers a range of benefits, including brake standby that pre-tensions the brakes when the driver quickly removes the pressure from the accelerator pedal.’
      • ‘Sensors will detect out-of-position occupants and smart belts will pre-tension to position your body correctly so the airbag can intercept you properly.’
      • ‘Concrete can be prestressed in a factory by tensioning the steel reinforcement first and then placing concrete around it - ‘pre-tensioned’ reinforcement.’
      • ‘Pretension stiffens cables against deflection, and fabric or foil, also pre-tensioned, can be used between the cables to create very large spans.’

Pronunciation

pretension

/ˈpriːtɛnʃ(ə)n/