pretentious

Use the adjective pretentious as a way to criticize people who try to act like they are more important or knowledgeable than they really are.

You might not be surprised to learn that pretentious is related to the word pretend, and it is an adjective that fits the bill for describing someone who's only concerned with making an impressive appearance. If you don't want to be accused of being pretentious, just act naturally and don't put on airs!

DEFINITIONS OF: pretentious

1

adj making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction

“a pretentious country house”
“a pretentious fraud”
“a pretentious scholarly edition”
Synonyms
arty
showily imitative of art or artists
artsy-craftsy, arty-crafty
pretentiously artistic; cloyingly charming
grandiloquent, overblown, pompous, pontifical, portentous
puffed up with vanity
grandiose, hifalutin, highfalutin, highfaluting, hoity-toity, la-di-da
affectedly genteel
high-flown, high-sounding, inflated
pretentious (especially with regard to language or ideals)
jumped-up
(British informal) upstart
nouveau-riche, parvenu, parvenue, upstart
characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position
sententious
abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing
sesquipedalian
given to the overuse of long words
tasteless
lacking aesthetic or social taste
Antonyms:
unpretentious
lacking pretension or affectation
plain
not elaborate or elaborated; simple
honest
without pretensions
modest
free from pomp or affectation
unpompous
not pompous
tasteful
having or showing or conforming to good taste
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adj intended to attract notice and impress others

Synonyms:
ostentatious
flaunty
inclined to flaunt
flamboyant, showy, splashy
marked by ostentation but often tasteless
Antonyms:
unostentatious, unpretending, unpretentious
not ostentatious
quiet, restrained
not showy or obtrusive
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adj (of a display) tawdry or vulgar

Synonyms:
ostentatious
tasteless
lacking aesthetic or social taste
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