Main definitions of pretension in English

: pretension1pretension2

pretension1

noun

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

    ‘we cannot tolerate pretension to infallibility’
    ‘their pretensions to culture’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Member governments identified where their national interests overlapped, without any pretension to a common foreign policy.’
    • ‘By the end of that decade, any pretensions to national independence had become thoroughly discredited.’
    • ‘It's not exactly simple, but it has no pretensions to art either.’
    • ‘As a result, the pretension to universality is all the more justified as researchers find themselves working in decontextualized and highly formalized fields.’
    • ‘The question of noble pretension to property, privilege, and power thus emerges as the underlying problem of the old order.’
    • ‘Further irritation comes from the increasing pretension to rationality that Alex's nonsense illustrates.’
    • ‘Budgets were cut right back and all pretension to filmmaking disappeared.’
    • ‘The football World Cup is gradually overtaking the Olympic Games as the leading sporting festival because it has never had much pretension to virtue.’
    • ‘This much may be expected of a state with pretensions to sovereignty and legitimacy, and certainly this much may be expected of good neighbours.’
    aspiration, claim, assertion, pretence, profession, purporting
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1often pretensions An aspiration or claim to a certain status or quality.
      ‘another aging rocker with literary pretensions’
      • ‘His own daughters see through his pretensions.’
      • ‘The important thing is that no one with literary pretensions should be allowed near the project!’
      • ‘Preferably female and extremely annoying, with literary pretensions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘None of the leads have any pretensions of making an astute character study or biting social commentary.’
      • ‘It's quite possibly the worst film in the series, and is certainly the most meaningless, despite its shadows of thematic 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.’
      • ‘Today, you have a new generation of books and authors with no literary pretensions.’
      • ‘The pretensions and pieties of national leaders merit an outpouring of derision and scorn.’
      • ‘With its suffocating pretensions and frequent idiocies, television has always cried out for sardonic mockery.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ellen set aside all pretensions and spoke as honestly as she knew how.’
      • ‘His ideological pretensions, which justified the mass murder of political opponents, had acquired religious overtones.’
      • ‘Another teen romance with pretensions of saying something more.’
      • ‘It's all great fun and manages some terrific gags along the way, savaging lots of Hollywood pretensions and familiar scams.’
      • ‘More biased to on-road luxury, with no real sporting pretensions and limited off-road capability.’
      • ‘I would also march in the streets for my right to argue against its literary pretensions.’
      • ‘Despite egalitarian pretensions, America has always been split between the ruling class - and the rest.’
  • 2The use of affectation to impress; ostentatiousness.

    ‘he spoke simply, without pretension’
    • ‘There is often a tendency toward extravagance and pretension.’
    • ‘Its very simplicity serves as a correction to the elaborate artifice and pretension - most of it hollow - that pervade current dance-making.’
    • ‘His trust in us was so refreshing and his attitude so free of pretension that I now regret not doing his ironing.’
    • ‘I think ‘distasteful,’ ‘gross’ and ‘a new low for your magazine’ are words of snobbery and pretension.’
    • ‘It is rare to see such unusual gifts of public speaking accompanied by such a complete lack of arrogance or pretension.’
    • ‘The men talk about him resentfully, sick of his haughty attitude and pretension.’
    • ‘When she is there with you, she is simply there, with no pretension, no elaboration, no show.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without such a justification, is there a danger of having the work dismissed as pretension or posturing or, at worse, accused of naiveté?’
    • ‘He was totally without ostentation or pretension and totally disinterested in wealth, honours or managerial power.’
    • ‘I agree, it's idiotic: pure pretension, a banal triumph of style over substance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘This was a band of the Midwest, no attitude, no pretension and always able to laugh at themselves.’
    • ‘This is a place with no need for pretension, shameless self-promotion or global snobbery.’
    • ‘He has no pretension, no attitude, requires no ‘look at me’ props.’
    • ‘Crowded around tables the size of Frisbees, people pose in a pageant of pretension.’
    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

/prəˈtɛn(t)ʃ(ə)n//prəˈten(t)SH(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 passenger bag was an option, but standard also was side impact protection, pre-tensioning seatbelts, and anti-dive front seats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 Strengthen (reinforced concrete) by applying tension to the reinforcing rods before the concrete has set.
      • ‘Concrete can be prestressed in a factory by tensioning the steel reinforcement first and then placing concrete around it - ‘pre-tensioned’ reinforcement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pretension stiffens cables against deflection, and fabric or foil, also pre-tensioned, can be used between the cables to create very large spans.’
      • ‘Dowel bars are similar steel bars installed across joints to provide resistance to shear, but are not pre-tensioned.’

Pronunciation

pretension

/priˈtɛn(t)ʃən//prēˈten(t)SHən/