pretend Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “pretend” in the English Dictionary

"pretend" in British English

See all translations

pretendverb [I]

uk   us   /prɪˈtend/
B2 to ​behave as if something is ​true when you ​know that it is not, ​especially in ​order to ​deceivepeople 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.not pretend to do sth formal to not ​claim something that is ​false: I don't pretend to be an ​expert on the ​subject.
More examples


uk   us   /prɪˈtend/
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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pretend" in American English

See all translations

pretendverb [I/T]

 us   /prɪˈtend/
to ​behave as if something is ​true when you ​know that it is not, esp. in ​order to ​deceivepeople or as a ​game: [+ to infinitive] Tom pretends to ​care. [+ (that) clause] The ​children pretended (that) they were ​dinosaurs.
adjective [not gradable]  us   /prɪˈtend/
a pretend ​teaparty
(Definition of pretend from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pretend?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day


to pick and collect crops, or to collect plants, animals, or fish to eat

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More