What is the adjective for someone who pretends? Pretender is noun. Is it pretentious? But the meaning of it is:

pretentious /pri-ˈten(t)-shəs/


1: characterized by pretension: such as

  • making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing)

    the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him — Richard Watts

  • expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature

    pretentious language pretentious houses

2 : making demands on one's skill, ability, or means : ambitious

the pretentious daring of the Green Mountain Boys in crossing the lake — Amer. Guide Series: Vt.

pretentiously adverb

pretentiousness noun

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pretentious

1 Answer 1


Your two words though sounding similar have vey different roots and meanings

pretend - praetendre (Latin) stretch forth claim

pretentious - (French) pretentieux + (English) pretension

The word you may be looking for is

fake(r) - (adj) 13. designed to deceive or cheat; not real; counterfeit

but there may be several different ways to describe one who pretends depending on the context

He is a pretender to the throne.
He makes a false claim to the throne.
He makes an illegitimate claim to the throne.

He is pretending to be doctor.
Hs is impersonating a doctor.
He is acting like a doctor.

He is pretending that he didn't know anything.
He is faking that he didn't know anything.
He is acting like he didn't know anything.

  • This is the sentence: He's pretending that he didn't know anything. He is (faker, self-denial, deluded).
    – Fawkes
    May 26, 2017 at 3:28
  • 1
    I have added to my answer responding to your comment. Being deluded and in self-denial might be the result of pretending not to know.
    – Peter
    May 26, 2017 at 3:41
  • Muchas gracias amigo!
    – Fawkes
    May 26, 2017 at 3:54

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