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ostensible

[o-sten-suh-buh l] /ɒˈstɛn sə bəl/
adjective
1.
outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended:
an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
2.
apparent, evident, or conspicuous:
the ostensible truth of their theories.
Origin of ostensible
1720-1730
1720-30; < French < Latin ostēns(us), variant of ostentus (see ostensive) + French -ible -ible
Related forms
ostensibly, adverb
nonostensible, adjective
nonostensibly, adverb
unostensible, adjective
unostensibly, adverb
Can be confused
ostensible, ostensive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ostensibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Yugoslav (read: Serb) army – ostensibly the side that lost the war – is vibrant and defiant.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • ostensibly they were a literary society; really they were diamond polishers.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Farnum was on him in an instant, ostensibly to help him up, but really to see he did not get up too quickly.

    The Vision Spendid William MacLeod Raine
  • He could not retire from Mexico after this ostensibly friendly visit.

    South American Fights and Fighters Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • ostensibly this visit was made because of the King's illness.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for ostensibly

ostensibly

/ɒˈstɛnsɪblɪ/
adverb
1.
(sentence modifier) apparently; seemingly

ostensible

/ɒˈstɛnsɪbəl/
adjective
1.
apparent; seeming
2.
pretended
Derived Forms
ostensibility, noun
Word Origin
C18: via French from Medieval Latin ostensibilis, from Latin ostendere to show, from ob- before + tendere to extend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ostensibly
adv.

1765, from ostensible + -ly (2).

ostensible

adj.

1762, "capable of being shown, presentable," from French ostensible, from Latin ostens-, past participle stem of ostendere "to show, expose to view; to stretch out, spread before; exhibit, display," from ob "in front of" (see ob-) + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Meaning "apparent, professed" is from 1771.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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