pretext noun

VERB + PRETEXT give sb, provide (sb with) | find, invent He considered inventing some pretext for calling her.

PREP. on a/the ~ He disappeared into his study on the pretext that he had work to do there. | under a/the ~ Under the pretext of checking her identity, the man had copied down her credit card details. | ~ for He used his research as a pretext for travelling to Hungary.

PHRASES at/on the slightest pretext He keeps popping into my office on the slightest pretext.