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pretense
used in Gulliver's Travels

6 uses
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Definition
a false appearance or action to help one pretend
  • To remedy which, there was a sort of people bred up among us in the profession, or pretence, of curing the sick.
    Part 4 — A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnms (43% in)
  • ...to a province, to be governed by a viceroy from hence, and to destroy and put to death, not only all the Big-endian exiles, but likewise all the people of that empire who would not immediately forsake the Big-endian heresy, he, the said Flestrin, like a false traitor against his most auspicious, serene, imperial majesty, did petition to be excused from the said service, upon pretence of unwillingness to force the consciences, or destroy the liberties and lives of an innocent people.
    Part 1 — A Voyage to Lilliput (81% in)
  • ...that a great court lady, who had several children,—is married to the prime minister, the richest subject in the kingdom, a very graceful person, extremely fond of her, and lives in the finest palace of the island,—went down to Lagado on the pretence of health, there hid herself for several months, till the king sent a warrant to search for her; and she was found in an obscure eating-house all in rags, having pawned her clothes to maintain an old deformed footman, who beat her every...
    Part 3 — A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, .... (21% in)
  • And the king, when he is highest provoked, and most determined to press a city to rubbish, orders the island to descend with great gentleness, out of a pretence of tenderness to his people, but, indeed, for fear of breaking the adamantine bottom; in which case, it is the opinion of all their philosophers, that the loadstone could no longer hold it up, and the whole mass would fall to the ground.
    Part 3 — A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, .... (30% in)
  • He added, "that upon the confidence of some merit, the war being at an end, he went to Rome, and solicited at the court of Augustus to be preferred to a greater ship, whose commander had been killed; but, without any regard to his pretensions, it was given to a boy who had never seen the sea, the son of Libertina, who waited on one of the emperor's mistresses.
    Part 3 — A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, .... (74% in)
  • That our institutions of government and law were plainly owing to our gross defects in reason, and by consequence in virtue; because reason alone is sufficient to govern a rational creature; which was, therefore, a character we had no pretence to challenge, even from the account I had given of my own people; although he manifestly perceived, that, in order to favour them, I had concealed many particulars, and often said the thing which was not.
    Part 4 — A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnms (50% in)

There are no more uses of "pretense" in Gulliver's Travels.

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