One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘cease this pretence and be true to yourself’
make-believe, act, putting on an act, acting, dissembling, shamming, sham, faking, feigning, simulation, falsification, dissimulation, invention, imagination, self-deception, play-acting, posturing, posture, posing, pose, cant, attitudinizing
deception, deceit, deceitfulness, fraud, hoax, fraudulence, fabrication, duplicity, artifice, subterfuge, treachery, trickery, dishonesty, hypocrisy, falsity, lying, mendacity, lack of veracity
British false colours
2‘he made a pretence of being unconcerned’
false show, show, semblance, affectation, false appearance, appearance, outward appearance, impression, image, front, false front, guise, colour, facade, display, posture, pose, masquerade, mask, cloak, veil, veneer, smokescreen, camouflage, cover, travesty, parody, charade
3‘she herself had long since dropped any pretence to faith’
claim, aspiration, purporting, profession
4‘he was absolutely without pretence’
pretentiousness, display, ostentation, affectation, showiness, flaunting, posturing, posing, humbug
5‘he abducted the queen on the pretence of seeking to protect her’
pretext, false excuse, guise, sham, ruse, wile, trickery
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