Roget's Thesaurus: Entry 617 (Ostensible motive, ground, or reason assigned)

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#617. [Ostensible motive, ground, or reason assigned.] Pretext. -- N. pretext, pretense, pretension, plea|; allegation, advocation; ostensible motive, ostensible ground, ostensible reason, phony reason; excuse &c. (vindication) 937; subterfuge; color; gloss, guise, cover.

loop hole, starting hole; how to creep out of, salvo, come off; way of escape.

handle, peg to hang on, room locus standi[Lat]; stalking-horse, cheval de bataille[Fr], cue.

pretense &c. (untruth) 546; put off, dust thrown in the eyes; blind; moonshine; mere pretext, shallow pretext; lame excuse, lame apology; tub to a whale; false plea, sour grapes; makeshift, shift, white lie; special pleading &c. (sophistry) 477; soft sawder &c. (flattery) 933[obs].

V. pretend, plead, allege; shelter oneself under the plea of; excuse &c. (vindicate) 937; lend a color to; furnish a handle &c. n.; make a pretext of, make a handle of; use as a plea &c. n.; take one's stand upon, make capital out of , pretend &c. (lie) 544.

Adj. ostensibly &c. (manifest) 525; alleged, apologetic; pretended &c. 545.

Adv. ostensibly; under color; under the plea, under the pretense of, under the guise of.