ADJ. elaborate It was all an elaborate pretence.
VERB + PRETENCE keep up, maintain, sustain I don't know how long I can keep up this pretence. | abandon, drop, give up
PRETENCE + VERB be over Now that the pretence was over, he could tell them what he really thought.
PREP. under the ~ of He tried to get close to her under the pretence of examining the pictures on the wall. | ~ at His pretence at friendliness fooled no one. | ~ of He was hanged without even the pretence of a proper trial.
PHRASES make a/little/no pretence I make no pretence to be an expert on the subject. | by/under false pretences obtaining money under false pretences