1 to behave as if something is true when you know that it is not, especially in order to deceive people or as a game: [+ (that)] He pretended (that) he didn't mind, but I knew that he did. The children pretended (that) they were dinosaurs. [+ to infinitive] Were you just pretending to be interested? She's not really hurt - she's only pretending. Of course I was angry - I can't pretend otherwise.
2 FORMAL not pretend to do sth to not claim something that is false: I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject.