Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pretend”

See all translations

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.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

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

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More