pretence, n. (US pretense)
1 pretending, make-believe.
2 a a pretext or excuse (on the slightest pretence). b a false show of intentions or motives (under the pretence of friendship; under false pretences).
3 (foll. by to) a claim, esp. a false or ambitious one (has no pretence to any great talent).
4 a affectation, display. b pretentiousness, ostentation (stripped of all pretence).
ME f. AF pretense ult. f. med.L pretensus pretended (as PRETEND)
airs, appearance, artifice, blind, camouflage, cloak, cover, cover-up, deception, disguise, display, dodge, excuse, fable, fabrication, facade, fairy tale, fakery, faking, falsification, feigning, fiction, figment, front, guise, hoax, humbug, humbuggery, hypocrisy, impression, invention, make-believe, mask, masquerade, ostentation, pose, posturing, pretending, pretension, pretentiousness, pretext, ruse, sham, show, story, veil