PRETEN'SION, n.1. Claim, true or false; a holding out the appearance of right or possession of a thing, with a view to make others believe what is not real, or what, if true, is not yet known or admitted. A man may make pretensions to rights which he cannot maintain; he may make pretensions to skill which he does not possess; and he may make pretensions to skill or acquirements which he really possesses, but which he is not known to possess. Hence we speak of ill founded pretensions, and well founded pretensions.2. Claim to something to be obtained, or a desire to obtain something, manifested by words or actions. Any citizen may have pretensions to the honor of representing the state in the senate or house of representatives. The commons demand that the consulship should lie in common to the pretensions of any Roman. Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions.3. Fictitious appearance; a Latin phrase, not now used. This was but an invention and pretension given out by the Spaniards.
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