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pretentious

adjective

  1. (upstart)  making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
    Synonyms: upstart, jumped-up [Britain, informal], posey [Britain, informal], posy [Britain,...
  2. (dicty)  intended to attract notice and impress others
    Synonyms: ostentatious, dicty [slang, United States], poncey [Britain, informal], poncy [Britain,...
  3. (tasteless)  of a display, tawdry or vulgar
    Synonyms: ostentatious. Similar to: tasteless

Etymology summary

French prétentieux (17th century), from prétention "pretension", from Medieval...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

pretentious | pretensive [Caribbean, synonym] | wanky [slang, synonym] | pseudish [insulting, synonym] | ostentatious [synonym, sense-specific] | pretentiously [adverb, derived]

making claim to distinction or importance, especially undeservedly | having or creating a deceptive outer appearance of great worth; ostentatious (19 of 421 words, 2 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/pretentious

Merriam-Webster:

pretentious | ambitious [synonym, sense-specific] | grandiose [synonym, sense-specific] | highfalutin [synonym, sense-specific] | high-minded [synonym, sense-specific] | la-di-da [synonym, sense-specific] | ostentatious [synonym, sense-specific] | pompous [synonym, sense-specific] | snippy [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

characterized by pretension: as ; making usually unjustified or excessive ... | making demands on one's skill, ability, or means; "ambitious" (20 of 404 words, 2 definitions, 5 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/pretentious

Macmillan British Dictionary:

pretentious [showing disapproval] | pretentiously [adverb, related]

behaving in a way that is intended to impress other people but seems false or too deliberate ; used about someone's behaviour or attitude ; used about ... (27 of 76 words, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/pretentious

Oxford Dictionary:

pretentious | poncey [British, informal] | poncier [British, informal, comparative] | ponciest [British, informal, superlative] | poncy [British, informal] | pretentiously [derived] | pretentiousness [derived]

attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed (13 of 63 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/pretentious

Cambridge Dictionary:

pretentious [disapproving] | pretentiously [adverb, derived] | pretension [noun, derived] | pretentiousness [noun, derived]

trying to appear or sound more important or clever than you are, especially in matters of art and literature (19 of 59 words, 3 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/pretentious

Wiktionary:

pretentious | posey [British, informal] | prætentious [rare, pedantic or humorous, sense-specific] | poseur [synonym, sense-specific] | arrogant [synonym, sense-specific] | unpretentious [antonym, sense-specific] | Ostentatious [synonym, sense-specific]

Marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction. | Ostentatious; intended to impress others. (14 of 53 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/pretentious

American Heritage Dictionary:

pretentious | pretentiously [adverb, related] | pretentiousness [noun, related]

Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified. | Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ... (20 of 31 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pretentious

New World Dictionary:

pretentious | pretentiously [adverb, related] | pretentiousness [noun, related]

making claims, explicit or implicit, to some distinction, importance, dignity, or excellence | affectedly grand; ostentatious (15 of 30 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pretentious

Random House Dictionary:

pretentious

full of pretense or pretension. | characterized by assumption of dignity or importance. | making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious. (18 of 26 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/pretentious

Encarta Dictionary:

pretentious

acting as though more important or special than is warranted, or appearing to have an unrealistically high self-image | intended to seem to have a ... (24 of 84 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861737064​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

pretentious

First use: 1845

Origin: French prétentieux (17th century), from prétention "pretension", from Medieval Latin pretentionem (nominative pretentio) ... (14 of 20 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=pretentious

Wiktionary:

pretentious

Origin: French prétentieux, from prétention, from Latin praetensus ("false or hypocritical profession"), past participle of praetendō.

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/pretentious

Merriam-Webster:

pretentious

First use: 1832

Origin: French prétentieux, from prétention pretension, from Medieval Latin pretention-, pretentio, from Latin praetendere

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/pretentious

Oxford Dictionary:

pretentious

First use: mid 19th century

Origin: French prétentieux, from prétention (see "pretension1")

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/pretentious

New World Dictionary:

pretentious

Origin: French prétentieux from prétention, pretension + -eux, "-ous"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pretentious

Encarta Dictionary:

pretentious

First use: Mid-19th century

Origin: French prétentieux from prétention from medieval Latin praetension-

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861737064​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Collins Dictionary:

pretentious

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pretentious"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/pretentious

Macmillan British Dictionary:

pretentious [showing disapproval]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "pretentious"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/pretentious

Macmillan American Dictionary:

pretentious [showing disapproval]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "pretentious"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/pretentious

Cambridge Dictionary:

pretentious [disapproving]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "pretentious"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "pretentious"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/pretentious

the Free Dictionary:

pretentious

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "pretentious"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "pretentious"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "pretentious" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/pretentious

Google Dictionary:

pretentious

Audio: English pronunciation of "pretentious"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=pretentious

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

pretentious

Audio: North American pronunciation of "pretentious"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=preten​08 word=pretentious

YourDictionary Audio:

pretentious

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pretentious" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pretentious

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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