Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “pretend”


verb [I/T]    /prɪˈtend/
to behave as if something is true when you know that it is not, esp . in order to deceive people or as a game : [+ to infinitive] Tom pretends to care . [+ (that) clause] The children pretended (that) they were dinosaurs . pretend    /prɪˈtend/ adjective [not gradable] a pretend tea party
(Definition of pretend verb from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of pretend

Definitions of “pretend” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More