Ed: "do you even know what that means"
Pete: "um... well, no"
Ed: "you're so pretentious"
A) Fit into a group.
B) Appear "better" than you are or than others.
Pretentious people often fit into 2 groups:
i) Stupid pretentious people who no nothing of the subject they are acting pretentious about.
ii) Clever pretentious people who know about the subject they are acting pretentious about but think this makes them better.
b) You didn't like my poem? Well you probably didn't understand it. It was very deep.
i) I am a goth I love HIM.
ii) I have a degree in Philosophy...I therefore know a little more about theology than you could.
Another Example: My definition of "pretentious" is much better than the others on this site because I have an A in English.
Pretentious people often have no sense of humour and never laugh at themselves.
1. A word that is often abused by pseudo-intellectuals.
2. Used to arrogantly display one's own pretentious tendencies by criticizing masterly works or people (e.g. art-rock bands--see. Radiohead)
3. Evokes strong evidence of hypocrisy in one's nature.
4. A word that, once applied, unfairly destroys geniuses and their works with one swift and cheap movement of affectation.
A) "Pretentious" can be a useful phrase to describe something that is fake or pretend, or somebody who is pretending in order to conform. Sometimes it is still used that way.
B) Its meaning has also become completely the opposite. In the English-speaking world, "pretentious" has become a catch-all phrase to criticize anything or anyone that is vaguely heartfelt, intellectual, earnest, sincere, artistic, unconventional, nonconformist, non-commercial, or not on TV, on Youtube or in the supermarket.
A) The blonde in American Beauty, Angela Hayes, lied about having lost her virginity and being sex-mad. In fact, she was an insecure virgin, and worried about what people would think of her. So she pretended to be a slut. She was pretentious.
B) The lonely boy in American Beauty, Ricky Fitts, who thought the plastic bag in the wind was beautiful couldn't really have thought that, he just wanted to be different from other people, and was pretending to be deep. He was pretentious.
AF: The wind caressed my face.
me: Your pretentiousness makes me want to staple your mouth shut.
Asshole 2: "You're being pretentious"
Asshole 3: "Pot and kettle"