Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pretentious”

See all translations

pretentious

adjective uk   /prɪˈten.ʃəs/ disapproving us  
trying to appear or sound more important or clever than you are, especially in matters of art and literature: a pretentious art critic The novel deals with grand themes, but is never heavy or pretentious.
pretentiously
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
pretentiousness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ ( also pretension) us  
I couldn't believe the pretentiousness of the book.
(Definition of pretentious from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pretentious?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “pretentious” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More