on false pretenses

on false pretenses

By or under a false impression created through intentional misrepresentation. I'm afraid you were brought here on false pretenses. I'm not your long-lost brother. You may not have lied directly, but you sold him those paintings on false pretenses—he thinks they're originals!
See also: false, on, pretense

by/on/under false preˈtences

(British English) (American English by/on/under false ˈpretenses) by lying about your identity, qualifications, financial or social position, etc: She was sent to prison for six months for obtaining money under false pretences.He got me there under false pretences. He told me he wanted to discuss a business deal, but when I got there, it was a surprise birthday party.
See also: by, false, on, pretence
References in periodicals archive ?
The estimated 20 percent to 25 percent of us who are High RWAS, Dean warns, "will take American democracy where no freedom-loving person would want it to go." With Ahab-like monomania, he discovers that every objectionable conservative Republican action--from "taking America to war in Iraq on false pretenses" to harsh right-wing criticism of the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court--reflects triumphant authoritarianism.
In "Enemies," the pain of loss reads poignantly at the final moment in the faces of de la Pena, the cuckolded lover, and Felix Blaska, his doctor, who's been summoned on false pretenses away from mourning his baby's death.