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From French prétexte, from Latin praetextum (an ornament, etc., wrought in front, a pretense), neuter of praetextus, past participle of praetexere (to weave before, fringe or border, allege).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹiːtɛkst/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: pre‧text


pretext (plural pretexts)

  1. A false, contrived, or assumed purpose or reason; a pretense.
    The reporter called the company on the pretext of trying to resolve a consumer complaint.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      When that metaphor proves untenable, he switches to insisting that women are like beer but that’s mainly as a pretext to drink until he passes out in a father-son bonding haze.




English Wikipedia has an article on:

pretext (third-person singular simple present pretexts, present participle pretexting, simple past and past participle pretexted)

  1. To employ a pretext, which involves using a false or contrived purpose for soliciting the gain of something else.
    The spy obtained his phone records using possibly-illegal pretexting methods.
    • 1903, Henry James, The Ambassadors:
      ... the something in the air of these establishments; the vibration of the vast, strange life of the town; the influence of the types, the performers, concocting their messages; the little prompt Paris women arranging, pretexting goodness knew what, driving the dreadful needle-pointed public pen at the dreadful sand-strewn public table....



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