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pretext
used in Middlemarch

9 uses
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Definition
a false reason presented to hide the real reason for doing something
  • Who would not, when there was the pretext of casting disgrace upon him, confound his whole life and the truths he had espoused, in one heap of obloquy?
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (94% in)
  • Very few men could have been as filial and chivalrous as he was to the mother, aunt, and sister, whose dependence on him had in many ways shaped his life rather uneasily for himself; few men who feel the pressure of small needs are so nobly resolute not to dress up their inevitably self-interested desires in a pretext of better motives.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (53% in)
  • Mr. Bulstrode saw in it not only medical jealousy but a determination to thwart himself, prompted mainly by a hatred of that vital religion of which he had striven to be an effectual lay representative—a hatred which certainly found pretexts apart from religion such as were only too easy to find in the entanglements of human action.
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (10% in)
  • What if the acts he had reconciled himself to because they made him a stronger instrument of the divine glory, were to become the pretext of the scoffer, and a darkening of that glory?
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (84% in)
  • Dorothea was detained on the good pretext that Mr. Garth, whom she wanted to see, was expected at the hall within the hour, and she was still talking to Caleb on the gravel when Sir James, on the watch for the rector's wife, saw her coming and met her with the needful hints.
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (91% in)
  • I wish you to know that under no circumstances would I have lowered myself by—under no circumstances would I have given men the chance of saying that I sought money under the pretext of seeking—something else.
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (95% in)
  • Fred had simply snatched up this pretext for speaking, because he could not say, "You are losing confoundedly, and are making everybody stare at you; you had better come away."
    Book 7 — Two Temptations (38% in)
  • Caleb felt a deep pity for him, but he could have used no pretexts to account for his resolve, even if they would have been of any use.
    Book 7 — Two Temptations (61% in)
  • Mr. Frank Hawley followed up his information by sending a clerk whom he could trust to Stone Court on a pretext of inquiring about hay, but really to gather all that could be learned about Raffles and his illness from Mrs. Abel.
    Book 7 — Two Temptations (86% in)

There are no more uses of "pretext" in Middlemarch.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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