pretentious Definition

  • 1attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed
  • 2making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing)
  • 3expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature

Using pretentious: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "pretentious" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He was criticized for his pretentious behavior at the party.

  • Example

    The restaurant's menu was full of pretentious descriptions of simple dishes.

  • Example

    She wore a pretentious outfit to impress her colleagues.

  • Example

    The movie was criticized for its pretentious dialogue.

pretentious Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for pretentious

Idioms Using pretentious

  • used to describe someone who talks big but has no real accomplishments or substance to back it up


    He talks about his wealth and success, but he's all hat and no cattle - he doesn't actually have anything to show for it.

  • behaving in a way that suggests one is superior to others; acting pretentiously


    She's always putting on airs, acting like she's better than everyone else.

  • holier-than-thou

    behaving as if morally superior to others


    She's always criticizing others for their behavior, but she's just being holier-than-thou.

Phrases with pretentious

  • the quality of being pretentious


    The writer's pretentiousness was evident in his overuse of obscure vocabulary.

  • an action or movement that is intended to impress others but is not genuine or sincere


    His grandiose speech was just a pretentious gesture to gain attention.

  • art that is characterized by an attempt to seem important or significant, often by using obscure or esoteric subject matter or techniques


    The museum's collection of pretentious art failed to impress the visitors.

Origins of pretentious

from Latin 'praetensus', meaning 'stretched out in front'


Summary: pretentious in Brief

The term 'pretentious' [priหˆtenสƒษ™s] refers to behavior or language that attempts to impress others by claiming greater importance or merit than is actually possessed. It can be used to describe people, things, or actions, such as 'The restaurant's menu was full of pretentious descriptions of simple dishes.' 'Pretentious' extends into phrases like 'all hat and no cattle,' and idioms like 'putting on airs,' denoting behavior that suggests superiority.