AskDefine | Define pretentious

Dictionary Definition

pretentious adj
1 making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction; "a pretentious country house"; "a pretentious fraud"; "a pretentious scholarly edition" [ant: unpretentious]
2 intended to attract notice and impress others; "an ostentatious sable coat" [syn: ostentatious] [ant: unostentatious]
3 of a display that is tawdry or vulgar [syn: ostentatious, kitsch]

User Contributed Dictionary



From praetensus 'false or hypocritical profession' (past participle of praetendō); via Middle French pretensse "putting forth a claim"


  • a RP /pɹɪˈtɛnʃəs/


  1. Marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction
    Their song titles are pretentious in the context of their basic lyrics.
  2. Ostentatious; intended to impress others
    Her dress was obviously more pretentious than comfortable.


marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction
  • German: protzig, prätentiös
  • Romanian: pretenţios


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1