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pretend (that) black is white

To say, believe, or act like what's true is the opposite of the real situation. The government can't keep pretending black is white, or else we're going to head into the same economic difficulty we were in ten years ago. The president could pretend that black is white, and he would still have people lining up to say that he is right.
See also: black, pretend, white

pretend to something

to claim to have a skill or quality. I can hardly pretend to the artistry that Wally has, but I can play the piano a bit. I can't pretend to that level of skill.
See also: pretend
References in periodicals archive ?
I've been completely manipulated by a man for 18 months pretending to be a Premiership footballer.
You can go to church fully enamored with Jesus, you can read the Bible to the exclusion of all other books, you can spend all your money on Christ's mission and welcome your Christian sisters and brothers into your home every day, and you will still only be pretending to be Christian.
A survey of 2,000 people found 78% said they had lied to appear smarter, with around two-thirds (62%) pretending to have read books including Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Then Courtenay revived Pretending to be Me last year to mark the 25th anniversary of Larkin's death, after being asked by the Larkin Society to give a performance to help raise money for a statue of Larkin being put up in Hull.
Or like Hank pretending at the beginning of the story to be a magician like Merlin, and so saving his own life when he was due to be executed.
Sure, it sounds silly, but I've had a lot of fun dreaming and pretending all my life.
My number one choice is Stan Mellor in the 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup, for miraculously catching out the immortal Arkle and Pat Taaffe with a genius of a ride, pretending to be no danger.
She will do anything to stop this from happening, including pretending to be a boy, trying to fool fate.
To do their jobs, Sullivan and Costigan both must live a lie, one pretending to be good, the other pretending to be bad.
In people, both language and pretending are considered outgrowths of a general symbolic function, says Patricia Greenfield of the University of California, Los Angeles.
If JT LeRoy was impressive as a young male prostitute writing about being a young male prostitute, isn't the feat even greater when JT LeRoy is a 40year-old woman pretending to be a young male prostitute?
For example, Quaker has stopped pretending that its Peaches & Cream Instant Oatmeal contains peaches and cream.
Certain movements and situations are by their very nature funny, like big men pretending to be ballerinas.
People are always interested to know what they look like when they are pretending.
Aliens use phony documents, pretending to be legal, and employers pretend to believe them.