1. Claiming that or behaving as if one is important or deserving of merit when such is not the case: a pretentious socialite.
2. Showing or betraying an attitude of superiority: made pretentious remarks about his education.
3. Marked by an extravagant or presumptuous outward show; ostentatious: a pretentious house. See Synonyms at showy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.