Pretentiousness is acting like you know more than you really do, or like you're more important than you really are. If your friends complain about your pretentiousness, you might want to tone down the bragging a little bit.

It's no surprise that pretentiousness shares a root with the word pretend — pretentiousness is all about pretending to be incredibly important or supremely talented. The pretentiousness of the literary novel you've been trying to read might lead you to reach for your favorite Harry Potter book. And the pretentiousness of your friend loudly demanding the best table at a fancy restaurant might make you wish you'd gone to a diner by yourself instead.

Definitions of pretentiousness
  1. noun
    the quality of being pretentious (behaving or speaking in such a manner as to create a false appearance of great importance or worth)
    synonyms: largeness, pretension
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    the quality of being natural and without pretensions
    pretentious or showy or vulgar display
    type of:
    the quality of being unnatural or not based on natural principles
  2. noun
    lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity
    synonyms: inflation, ostentation, ostentatiousness, pomposity, pompousness, puffiness, splashiness
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    type of:
    the quality of lacking refinement and good taste
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘pretentiousness'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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