Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
Pre"text (?; 277), n. [F. prétexte, L. praetextum, fr. praetextus, p. p. of praetexere to weave before, allege as an excuse; prae before + texere to weave. See Text.] Ostensible reason or motive assigned or assumed as a color or cover for the real reason or motive; pretense; disguise.
They suck the blood of those they depend on, under a pretext of service and kindness.
With how much or how little pretext of reason.
Dr. H. More.
Syn. -- Pretense; excuse; semblance; disguise; appearance. See Pretense.