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English Dictionary: pretext by the DICT Development Group
2 results for pretext
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
pretext
n
  1. something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
    Synonym(s): pretext, stalking-horse
  2. an artful or simulated semblance; "under the guise of friendship he betrayed them"
    Synonym(s): guise, pretense, pretence, pretext
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Pretext \Pre"text\ (?; 277), n. [F. pr[82]texte, L. praetextum,
      fr. praetextus, p. p. of praetexere to weave before, allege
      as an excuse; prae before + texere to weave. See {Text}.]
      Ostensible reason or motive assigned or assumed as a color or
      cover for the real reason or motive; pretense; disguise.
  
               They suck the blood of those they depend on, under a
               pretext of service and kindness.            --L'Estrange.
  
               With how much or how little pretext of reason. --Dr. H.
                                                                              More.
  
      Syn: Pretense; excuse; semblance; disguise; appearance. See
               {Pretense}.
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