Part of speech: noun

A fictitious reason or motive.

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Usage examples "pretext":

  1. Sometimes he dispensed with a pretext, and sent a messenger to the hut of the doomed man to tell him the king wanted him. - "Impressions of South Africa", James Bryce.
  2. At the door, however, Elaine asked her to wait while she ran back on some pretext. - "The Exploits of Elaine", Arthur B. Reeve.
  3. Such a pretext would be easily found, because, as Don John had accepted the government, " it would be necessary for him to do all which the rascals bade him." - "Project Gutenberg History of The Netherlands, 1555-1623, Complete", John Lothrop Motley.