Definition of pretentious in English:


See synonyms for pretentious

Translate pretentious into Spanish


  • Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.

    ‘a pretentious literary device’
    • ‘Enough of this pseudo-intellectual posturing, these pretentious literary musings!’
    • ‘What you want to do if you actually fancy being a pretentious intellectual is read the book.’
    • ‘Sadly, it comes across more as a pretentious attempt to buy the world a coke.’
    • ‘It's pleasingly literary without being pretentious; plot is in no way sacrificed to prose.’
    • ‘Apparently, the language used by wine writers is too flowery and pretentious.’
    • ‘Is it just pretentious rhetoric that I am using to avoid facing myself?’
    • ‘What critic, or prince, could resist something so impressive and so pretentious?’
    • ‘He also had a convoluted and elaborate manner of speech that many thought pretentious.’
    • ‘To say that the music is overblown and pretentious is rather an understatement.’
    • ‘Of course a lot of what he said was pretentious rubbish but that is normal for art critics.’
    • ‘This has been dismissed by most film writers as an inaccurate, pretentious bore.’
    • ‘The film itself sounds like a pretentious waste of time, although it could be rather pretty.’
    • ‘Towards the other wives and their children she was always extremely imperious, haughty and pretentious.’
    • ‘Some thought her pretentious, of which there are many greater crimes.’
    • ‘It's loved by a small band of pretentious types who dress in black.’
    • ‘One of the things I dislike is pretentious people who chat a lot of hot air.’
    • ‘I was going to make a Cold War analogy here, but, let's face it, that would be ridiculously pretentious.’
    • ‘The council fools no one with its pretentious claims for being ‘of world stature’.’
    • ‘If it looks or sounds pretentious, then that is what it will be accused of.’
    • ‘If we were too serious it might have come off as pretentious, heavy handed or silly.’
    affected, ostentatious, chi-chi, showy, flashy, tinselly, conspicuous, flaunty, tasteless, kitschy
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/prēˈten(t)SHəs/ /priˈtɛn(t)ʃəs/


Mid 19th century from French prétentieux, from prétention (see pretension).