Pronunciation: (pri-tend'),[key] —v.t. 1. to cause or attempt to cause (what is not so) to seem so: to pretend illness; to pretend that nothing is wrong. 2. to appear falsely, as to deceive; feign: to pretend to go to sleep. 3. to make believe: The children pretended to be cowboys. 4. to presume; venture: I can't pretend to say what went wrong. 5. to allege or profess, esp. insincerely or falsely: He pretended to have no knowledge of her whereabouts.
—v.i. 1. to make believe.
2. to lay claim to (usually fol. by to): She pretended to the throne. 3. to make pretensions (usually fol. by to): He pretends to great knowledge. 4. Obs.to aspire, as a suitor or candidate (fol. by to).