Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pretend”

pretend

verb [I] uk   /prɪˈtend/ us  
B2 to behave as if something is true when you know that it is not, especially in order to deceive people or as a game: [+ (that)] He pretended (that) he didn't mind, but I knew that he did. The children pretended (that) they were dinosaurs. [+ to infinitive] Were you just pretending to be interested? She's not really hurt - she's only pretending. Of course I was angry - I can't pretend otherwise.Faking and pretendingChildren's games not pretend to do sth formal to not claim something that is false: I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject.Assertions and asserting

pretend

adjective uk   /prɪˈtend/ us  
imaginary or not real: "Do you want a cup of tea?" she asks, offering me a pretend cup. They knew the argument was only pretend, but they still got upset.
(Definition of pretend from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pretend?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “pretend” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bitter

a type of dark brown beer with a bitter taste

Word of the Day

Blog

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