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vocabulary
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pretentious

used in a sentence
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Definition acting more impressive than is deserved

More rarely, pretension can mean to apply tension to something before an event as when a seat belt is pretensioned as it is worn so it will snug prior to use in an accident.
  • Some people think she's pretentious, but I admire her ambition.
pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • a pretentious, self-important bureaucrat who forgets that it is her job is to serve the public
  • The t-shirt said, "Keep Dallas Pretentious. Support Your Own Materialism."
  • My formal Spanish must have sounded as pretentious to the ears of the paisano as "Whither goeth my sire?"
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • pretentious = showy (trying to appear impressive)
  • I am sorry you are not to have the fun of being pretentious and successful—for a while.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • He had been a pretentious little thing, she thought, but he had also been oh-so-serious in a way that let her be oh-so-serious as well.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • Since I'd been with her, I noticed I'd started to talk differently, pretentious and prettified, like the characters in the books she loved, or like Will.
    Alex Flinn  --  Beastly
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • The club was a dingy building, three pretentious old dwellings
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • pretentious = trying to appear more impressive than is deserved
  • Robert's voice was not pretentious.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • pretentious = trying to appear overly impressive
  • Luz accuses Ivanito of repeating their mother's pretentious phrases, of saying things like "The moon glares with a vivid indifference."
    Christina Garcia  --  Dreaming in Cuban
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • her elation was unbounded when she found that Freddy, like all youths educated at cheap, pretentious, and thoroughly inefficient schools, knew a little Latin.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Pygmalion
  • pretentious = trying to appear more impressive than is deserved
  • You'll sound pretentious.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Along for the Ride
  • pretentious = (like someone) trying to appear more impressive than is deserved
  • I'm pretentious.
    Tennessee Williams  --  A Streetcar Named Desire
  • pretentious = trying to appear more impressive than is deserved
  • It held even though the more prosperous preachers started to tack the pretentious title of "Doctor" in front of their name and started to spend more time at seminars than visiting the sick.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin'
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • My mission, and I chose to accept it, was to find chocolate-chip cookies as good as the ones I'd made with Ella and her mom. So I'd brought back a couple dozen. I took a bite of cookie and chewed. "Hmm," I said, trying not to spit crumbs. "Clear vanilla notes, too-sweet chocolate chips, distinct flavor of brown sugar. A decent cookie, not spectacular. Still, a goodhearted cookie, not pretentious."
    James Patterson  --  The Angel Experiment
  • pretentious = trying to be more than it is
  • I wondered if he'd like it, or if he'd dismiss it as pretentious.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • pretentious = acting more impressive than is deserved
  • From, like, hideous romance to pretentious fiction to poetry.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • pretentious = attempting to act more impressive than is deserved
  • Bit pretentious.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • pretentious = acting more impressive than is deserved
  • This was religion without pretension.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin'
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
  • Our arrival at the gates of the Rimbauer mansion (for it is nothing less!) left me breathless. ... She is spectacular! Pretentious! Gorgeous!
    Stephen King  --  Rose Red
pretentious = trying to appear impressive

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