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
One thing I noticed about the comments on your blog is that folks often use the term pretentious to describe a restaurant.
Although he finds the phrase "pretentious," he realized he was bearing witness so that peoples' suffering "will not have happened in vain."
It's absolutely true "pretentious" is thrown around quite a lot, and often in a way that isn't an argument about the literature, but about the hypothetical motives of its creators or its appreciators.
He studied the row of buttons on the trendy contraption that some would call a coffee machine and he called a pretentious piece of pain-in-the-ass machinery.
What made it even more pretentious is that that appeared IN THE CONTENTS PAGE, despite there being nothing but those words there.
Really, how much more pretentious is Obama going to get before he just gets down to the business of the American people?
It's a provocative premise, but mired in pretentious posturing and glacial pacing, though enlivened by terrific acting by all of the twitchy, edgy principals.
Later we get more on the wisdom of trees, written in pretentious tones like this:
To call a work pretentious is to call into question its writer very commitment to their craft, to suggest, with no real evidence, that they are driven, at heart, by a shallow egotism.
Such debauchery of science in the name of pretentious ‘art’ offends all my sensibilities.