Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
  • adj. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See Synonyms at showy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction.
  • adj. Ostentatious; intended to impress others.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of pretension; disposed to lay claim to more than is one's; presuming; assuming.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pretended; unfounded; false.
  • Full of pretension, or claims to greater excellence or importance than the truth warrants; attempting to pass for more than the actual worth or importance; making an exaggerated outward show.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
  • adj. (of a display) tawdry or vulgar
  • adj. intended to attract notice and impress others

Etymologies

From French prétentieux, from prétention, from Latin praetensus ("false or hypocritical profession"), past participle of praetendō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Can't be that incomparable, I can't even remember it! I remember most of them, but that one not.

    June 26, 2008

  • Which he stole from the incomparable Fawlty Towers, "The Psychiatrist" episode.

    June 26, 2008

  • Pretentious? Moi?
    - great line from Eddie Murphy

    June 26, 2008