claim or aspiration to a particular status or quality
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Pretension is a claim or aspiration to a particular status or quality.
- True glory strikes root, and even extends itself; all false pretensions fall as do flowers, nor can anything feigned be lasting.
- Cicero, as quoted in Great Catches; or, Grand Matches (1861) by Eleanor Frances Blakiston, p. 82
- Pretend what we may, the whole man within us is at work when we form our philosophical opinions. Intellect, will, taste, and passion co-operate just as they do in practical affairs; and lucky it is if the passion be not something as petty as a love of personal conquest over the philosopher across the way.
- William James, in The Sentiment of Rationality (1882)
- The desire of appearing clever often prevents our becoming so.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxim 199, as quoted in Great Truths by Great Authors (1856), p. 422
- Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed: nature never pretends.
- Johann Kaspar Lavater, as quoted in Mental Recreation; or, Select Maxims (1831), p. 234