Adjective "pretentious" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.
  1. 'the pretentious jargon of wine experts'
  2. 'Enough of this pseudo-intellectual posturing, these pretentious literary musings!'
  3. 'It's pleasingly literary without being pretentious; plot is in no way sacrificed to prose.'
  4. 'It's loved by a small band of pretentious types who dress in black.'
  5. 'Of course a lot of what he said was pretentious rubbish but that is normal for art critics.'
  6. 'What you want to do if you actually fancy being a pretentious intellectual is read the book.'
  7. 'Some thought her pretentious, of which there are many greater crimes.'
  8. 'The film itself sounds like a pretentious waste of time, although it could be rather pretty.'
  9. 'Towards the other wives and their children she was always extremely imperious, haughty and pretentious.'
  10. 'If it looks or sounds pretentious, then that is what it will be accused of.'
  11. 'What critic, or prince, could resist something so impressive and so pretentious?'


1. characterized by assumption of dignity or importance, especially when exaggerated or undeserved: a pretentious, self-important waiter.

2. making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious.

3. full of pretense or pretension; having no factual basis; false.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be pretentious in ways."

"people can be pretentious."

"rubbishs can be pretentious."

"titles can be pretentious."

"names can be pretentious."

More examples++


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