What does pretext mean?
Definitions for pretext
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pretext.
something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
guise, pretense, pretence, pretextnoun
an artful or simulated semblance
"under the guise of friendship he betrayed them"
A false, contrived or assumed purpose; a pretense.
The reporter called the company on the pretext of trying to resolve a consumer complaint.
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.
Etymology: From prétexte, from praetextum, neuter of praetextus, past participle of praetexere.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Pretence; false appearance; false allegation.
Etymology: prætextus, Lat. pretexte, Fr.
My pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.
Under this pretext, the means he sought
To ruin such whose might did much exceed
His pow’r to wrong. Samuel Daniel, Civil War.
As chymists gold from brass by fire would draw,
Pretexts are into treason forg’d by law. John Denham.
I shall not say with how much, or how little pretext of reason they managed those disputes. Decay of Piety.
They suck the blood of those they depend upon, under a pretext of service and kindness. Roger L'Estrange.
A pretext (adj: pretextual) is an excuse to do something or say something that is not accurate. Pretexts may be based on a half-truth or developed in the context of a misleading fabrication. Pretexts have been used to conceal the true purpose or rationale behind actions and words. They are often heard in political speeches. In US law, a pretext usually describes false reasons that hide the true intentions or motivations for a legal action. If a party can establish a prima facie case for the proffered evidence, the opposing party must prove that these reasons were "pretextual" or false. This can be accomplished by directly demonstrating that the motivations behind the presentation of evidence is false, or indirectly by evidence that the motivations are not "credible". In Griffith v. Schnitzer, an employment discrimination case, a jury award was reversed by a Court of Appeals because the evidence was not sufficient that the defendant's reasons were "pretextual". That is, the defendant's evidence was either undisputed, or the plaintiff's was "irrelevant subjective assessments and opinions".A "pretextual" arrest by law enforcement officers is one carried out for illegal purposes such as to conduct an unjustified search and seizure. As one example of pretext, in the 1880s, the Chinese government raised money on the pretext of modernizing the Chinese navy. Instead, these funds were diverted to repair a ship-shaped, two-story pavilion which had been originally constructed for the mother of the Qianlong Emperor. This pretext and the Marble Barge are famously linked with Empress Dowager Cixi. This architectural folly, known today as the Marble Boat (Shifang), is "moored" on Lake Kunming in what the empress renamed the "Garden for Cultivating Harmony" (Yiheyuan).Another example of pretext was demonstrated in the speeches of the Roman orator Cato the Elder (234–149 BC). For Cato, every public speech became a pretext for a comment about Carthage. The Roman statesman had come to believe that the prosperity of ancient Carthage represented an eventual and inevitable danger to Rome. In the Senate, Cato famously ended every speech by proclaiming his opinion that Carthage had to be destroyed (Carthago delenda est). This oft-repeated phrase was the ultimate conclusion of all logical argument in every oration, regardless of the subject of the speech. This pattern persisted until his death in 149, which was the year in which the Third Punic War began. In other words, any subject became a pretext for reminding his fellow senators of the dangers Carthage represented.
ostensible reason or motive assigned or assumed as a color or cover for the real reason or motive; pretense; disguise
A pretext is an excuse to do something or say something that is not accurate. Pretexts may be based on a half-truth or developed in the context of a misleading fabrication. Pretexts have been used to conceal the true purpose or rationale behind actions and words. In US law, a pretext usually describes false reasons that hide the true intentions or motivations for a legal action. If a party can establish a prima facie case for the proffered evidence, the opposing party must prove that the these reasons were "pretextual" or false. This can be accomplished by directly demonstrating that the motivations behind the presentation of evidence is false, or indirectly by evidence that the motivations are not "credible". In Griffith v. Schnitzer, an employment discrimination case, a jury award was reversed by a Court of Appeals because the evidence was not sufficient that the defendant's reasons were "pretextual". That is, the defendant's evidence was either undisputed, or the plaintiff's was "irrelevant subjective assessments and opinions". A "pretextual" arrest by law enforcement officers is one carried out for illegal purposes such as to conduct an unjustified search and seizure.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
prē′tekst, or prē-tekst′, n. an assumed motive or reason put forward to conceal the real one: a pretence. [L. prætextum—prætexĕre—præ, before, texĕre, to weave.]
a false reason given for an action, in order to hide the real reason
1. The incident provided the pretext for war. 2. om called at her apartment on the pretext of asking for a book.
Submitted by Jon Snow on June 17, 2014
The numerical value of pretext in Chaldean Numerology is: 6
The numerical value of pretext in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9
Examples of pretext in a Sentence
The only (purpose) ... is to subject the former President to public embarrassment, it is not Lula's credibility that is compromised when its leaders turn to a political target in the most fragile pretext.
Basically, taking pictures is an excuse to meet people so I use the camera as a pretext.
On every small pretext the wolf seizes the sheep.
Our intelligence community has developed information, which has now been downgraded, that Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating the pretext for an invasion, we saw this playbook in 2014. They are preparing this playbook again and we will have, the administration will have, further details on what we see as this potential laying of the pretext to share with the press over the course of the next 24 hours.
What the U.S. did proves that the so-called democracy summit is just a pretext and tool for it to pursue geopolitical goals, suppress other countries, divide the world, serve its own interest and maintain its hegemony in the world.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for pretext
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- Deckmantel, einen Vorwand verwenden, fadenscheinige Begründung, etwas vorgeben, Vorwand, etwas vorschützenGerman
- tekosyy, verukeFinnish
- leisgeulScottish Gaelic
- kifogás, ürügyHungarian
- pretesto, scusanteItalian
- takunga, takunetanga, takutakungaMāori
- dekmantel, pretext, voorwendsel, schijnreden, drogredenDutch
- påskottNorwegian Nynorsk
- pretekst, wymówkaPolish
- по́вод, предло́гRussian
- izgovor, izlikaSerbo-Croatian
- svepskäl, förevändning, undanflyktSwedish
Get even more translations for pretext »
Find a translation for the pretext definition in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Gaeilge (Irish)
- Українська (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"pretext." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pretext>.
Discuss these pretext definitions with the community:
We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.
If by any chance you spot an inappropriate comment while navigating through our website please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly.
You need to be logged in to favorite.