Wednesday Word for June 17, 2020

Today’s word comes from this week’s news.

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Today’s Word

Part of Speech



  1. A purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs.
  2. something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse.
  3. The misleading appearance or behavior assumed with this intention.


This word was first used around 1538 as the meaning in Definition 1. It comes from the Latin praetextus, from praetexere meaning to assign as a pretext, screen, extend in front, from prae– + texere to weave.


guise, excuse, justification

Usage and Examples

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Jack Duncan approved coercive tactics on the pretext of confronting terrorism.
  • The ruffians were paranoid psychopaths looking for any pretext to start a fight.

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