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Pretence, 1) pretext: “her p. is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques,” All's IV, 3, 57. “under p. to see the queen his aunt,” H8 I, 1, 177. “the p. for this is named your wars in France,” I, 2, 59. “why hast thou abused so many miles with a p.” Cymb. III, 4, 106. “make p. of wrong that I have done him,” Per. I, 2, 91.
2) intention, purpose, design: “hath made me publisher of this p.” Gent. III, 1, 47. “the p. whereof being laid open,” Wint. III, 2, 18. “to keep your great --s veiled,” Cor. I, 2, 20. “against the undivulged p. I fight of treasonous malice,” Mcb. II, 3, 137. “he hath wrote this . . . . to no further p. of danger,” Lr. I, 2, 95. “which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very p. and purpose of unkindness,” I, 4, 75.
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