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  • The country maintains a pretense of a free press.
  • Nobody is fooled by her pretense.
  • Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
    Eric Hoffer
  • And she had to go down to tea and pretend that there was nothing the matter. The pretence was bravely made, but it wasn’t very successful.
    Edith Nesbit  --  The Railway Children

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  • He no longer looked at me, no longer made any pretense of telling the truth.
    John Gardner  --  Grendel
  • He abandoned any pretense of even being my friend.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Catching Fire
  • You and your Ministry of Magic have lured me here under false pretenses, Dumbledore!
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • He doesn’t make any pretense about his motives, does he?
    Ken Kesey  --  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Get the captain and squire down to the cabin, and then make some pretence to send for me.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • Oh, there is no necessity to keep up the pretence of ignorance.
    Henrik Ibsen  --  A Doll’s House

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  • I never made a pretence to him or you that I loved him.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • This afternoon during my temporary absence in London on an important question of romance, he obtained admission to my house by means of the false pretence of being my brother.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Importance of Being Earnest
  • I don’t see how we can keep up the pretense past the arrival date of this next ship.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • Bryan felt it as though he’d actually peeled off layer after layer of pretense, defense, disguise.
    Nora Roberts  --  Summer Pleasures
  • her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques-le-Grand:
    William Shakespeare  --  All’s Well That Ends Well
  • ...and confess your pretense, for a quick confession will go easier with you.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • I give up the pretense of mystery, and I kiss her hand and bring it to my cheek and whisper in her ear.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Notebook
  • Now a good many of the guests have finished, and, since there is no pretense of ceremony, the banquet begins to break up.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • I have half a mind to fire you for letting these people in under false pretenses.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • ...don’t make no false pretense wid me!
    Zora Neale Hurston  --  Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • You dare keep up this pretense, after what you have done?
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lightning Thief
  • under the pretense of scouring the bare hedges for nonexistent blackberries, they continued their ongoing exchange of news.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • It occurred to me that Joan, hearing where I was, had engaged a room at the asylum on pretense, simply as a joke.
    Sylvia Plath  --  The Bell Jar
  • "Beaky’s gettin’ a bit depressed," Hagrid told them, bending low on the pretense of checking that Harry’s flobberworm was still alive.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • My lord, I will not make pretense to pant
    And puff as some light-footed messenger.
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • All pretenses but living itself have long since vanished from the very atmosphere of this room.
    Lorraine Hansberry  --  A Raisin in the Sun
  • And as such, he comes into this court under a handicap, notwithstanding our pretensions that all are equal before the law.
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • Meo made no pretense of not knowing him.
    Hal Borland  --  When the Legends Die
  • And yet he felt guilty, knowing that he was accepting the kid’s admiration under false pretenses, that he wasn’t cool at all, not at all.
    Robert Cormier  --  The Chocolate War
  • Nobody seemed to find Scrimgeour’s pretense that he did not know Harry’s name convincing,
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Brom, who had a degree of rough chivalry in his nature, would fain have carried matters to open warfare and have settled their pretensions to the lady, according to the mode of those most concise and simple reasoners, the knights-errant of yore,—by single combat;
    Washington Irving  --  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • On Smith Island to the south of us there was no high school, not even the pretense of one that we had on Rass.
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved
  • It is true, such things are often simulated, but the pretence itself is a symptom.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • ...the others made no pretence of offering...
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Hobbit
  • I put the clothes away, making a pretence of going to the door.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • ...the horse broke into a kind of pretence of a trot for five or six paces and then subsided into a walk again.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Horse and His Boy
  • you never CAN tell, you know, unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up in that room too—but that may be only pretence, just to make it look as if they had a fire.
    Lewis Carroll  --  Through the Looking-Glass
  • made me publisher of this pretence
    William Shakespeare  --  The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Had they been putting up a pretence all the time he had been speaking, and now that he come to the end and to what must follow, were they tired of pretending?
    Franz Kafka  --  The Trial
  • (the scared part wasn’t exactly pretense)
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Betrayed
  • Burn right into my brain, burn through my pathetic teeth-clenching tough-guy pretensions.
    Katherine Applegate  --  Everworld - Search For Senna
  • He had stopped his pretense of working; he was standing before her, arms akimbo, dark eyes demanding.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • It is not simply pretense.
    Athol Fugard  --  Master Harold...and the Boys
  • But, besides that I must have supported such pretence by a direct falsehood
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • At least that’s the pretence.
    Peter Shaffer  --  Equus
  • One minute she was talking to my father, complaining about the tenants upstairs, scheming how to evict them under the pretense that relatives from China were moving in.
    Amy Tan  --  The Joy Luck Club
  • the pretence for this is...
    William Shakespeare  --  Henry VIII
  • "No waffling," he said. ". Tonight we do it right." ...
    Oscar took the rifle from its blanket and carried it openly, patrol-style, the barrel off to one side. No more pretense.
    Tim O’Brien  --  Going After Cacciato
  • I became in an instant as much of a pretense as the rest of the bewitched pilgrims.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • ABIGAIL, in tears: I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
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