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Related to pretended: lackadaisical, punctilious

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 10 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 feign or claim to have some quality, skill, or characteristic. Jonathan pretends to the palate of a connoisseur, but really he's just pretentious. I like to write, but couldn't pretend to the kind of talent she has.
See also: pretend, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
He didn't stand in the elephant poo, he pretended. He knew what was funny.
I resisted strongly and I defended myself for nearly three minutes but when I felt that he was about to overpower meEoACA* I made a noise and pretended that I wanted to vomit," she claimed.
YOUNGSTERS at a Coventry school pretended their teacher was an invading Spaniard and mounted a military charge as they learned about the Tudors.
I took the brush, pretended to be the make-up artist, and started stabbing her.
The decision was made by patients and doctors and families in an irregular fashion, and, crucially, everyone pretended that no decision had ever been made.
(J) told her that they were going to the dance, but (G)'s response was: "Well, I have to go grocery shopping." (J) and (K) pretended to eat from the plates on the table; then the following occurred:
troops to Bosnia--even as he let it be known that he would not feel bound by congressional rejection--he pretended to lead; Congress, voting with its feet, pretended to exercise responsible oversight; and we, the people, our civic and moral consciousness dulled by the Cold War, pretended to enjoy democracy.
Ross Perot is a self-made man who never pretended to be anything else, but many of America's recently rich act as if they're ashamed of having succeeded on their own.
According to the police a citizen Jameel Mubarik lodged a complaint with the Karachi Company Police on January 13, stating that a person pretended himself an employee of ISI and snatched Rs.
Linsey Cotton, 32, is said to have made up a dating profile and persona for a Stephanie Wilson or Johnstone and pretended to Michael McDonough that they were in a relationship and she needed money.
I pretended I was in a bike shop negotiating which motorbike to buy" - former hostage Peter Moore on how he coped during his two-and-a-half-year ordeal.
Other charges allege McQuiston pretended to Avon Park Homes, Glasgow, that permission had been granted for houses in Kilmarnock, and flats in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire.
Nearly all the children in the study, regardless of age, regularly pretended to be real and imaginary characters.
In opening the trial of McKinney and Henderson, prosecutor Cal Rerucha confirmed the police analysis, insisting that the killers "pretended to be gay because they thought he wouldn't resist a robbery." Court TV, which covered the entire trial, reported that prosecutors in the Shepard case "never characterized Shepard's slaying as a hate crime; they portrayed the killing as a robbery-gone-bad."
A WOMAN whose bank cards were stolen wasn't taken in when the thieves later telephoned and pretended to be from a bank.