pretend

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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

pretend/say that black is white

to say the opposite of what is really true She'll say that black is white if she thinks it's to her advantage.
See also: black, pretend, white
References in classic literature ?
Above all, I shall then be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in the next; and I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not.
The whole company hereupon show the greatest interest; while the priest holding Moa Artua to his ear interprets to them what he pretends the god is confidentially communicating to him.
But there is a right sort and a wrong sort, and it's affectation to pretend there isn't.
She says--she pretends that Count Olenski has asked her to persuade you to go back to him.
Snagsby observes, as a novelty, that however quick their pace may be, his companion still seems in some undefinable manner to lurk and lounge; also, that whenever he is going to turn to the right or left, he pretends to have a fixed purpose in his mind of going straight ahead, and wheels off, sharply, at the very last moment.
Winterbourne were as polite as he pretends, he would offer to walk with me
There is not only the right of conquest, which genius pretends,--the individual demonstrating his natural aristocracy best of the best; --but less claims will pass for the time; for Fashion loves lions, and points like Circe to her horned company.
One in every ten shall die, the rest shall go free; but the white man Incubu, who slew Scragga my son, and the black man his servant, who pretends to my throne, and Infadoos my brother, who brews rebellion against me, these shall die by torture as an offering to the Silent Ones.
I tell you I have created this thing out of the squashed cabbage leaves of Covent Garden; and now she pretends to play the fine lady with me.
He has developed the idea --or pretends to believe--that in all probability three or four others who heard my confession will die before I do.
And who pretends to say Fred Vincy hasn't got expectations?
And here was a man, decidedly good-looking--Jane and Susan Green call him bewitchingly handsome I suppose they're two of the ladies he pretends would be so glad to have him; but, however, he was certainly a very clever, witty, agreeable companion--not what you call clever, but just enough to make him entertaining; and a man one needn't be ashamed of anywhere, and would not soon grow tired of; and to confess the truth, I rather liked him--better even, of late, than Harry Meltham--and he evidently idolised me; and yet, though he came upon me all alone and unprepared, I had the wisdom, and the pride, and the strength to refuse him--and so scornfully and coolly as I did: I have good reason to be proud of that.
They have real glasses and real wine of three kinds, namely, blackthorn wine, berberris wine, and cowslip wine, and the Queen pours out, but the bottles are so heavy that she just pretends to pour out.
Presently they all awake and rouse Mak, who still pretends to sleep.
I cannot pretend to offer a positive opinion until I know more of the particulars connected with this extraordinary business than I find communicated either in your letter or in your maid's.