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[os-ten-tey-shuh s, -tuh n-] /ˌɒs tɛnˈteɪ ʃəs, -tən-/
characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others:
an ostentatious dresser.
(of actions, manner, qualities exhibited, etc.) intended to attract notice:
Lady Bountiful's ostentatious charity.
1650-60; ostentat(ion) + -ious
Related forms
ostentatiously, adverb
ostentatiousness, noun
unostentatious, adjective
unostentatiously, adverb
1. See grandiose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ostentatiously
  • While senators voted on that motion, he stood with a clipboard in his hand, ostentatiously noting the name of anyone who voted no.
  • Several fast-food chains and consumer-goods firms have ostentatiously dropped it from their recipes.
  • It's also more ostentatiously over the top than anything in the sky.
  • Before the economy opened up, a chic suit meant one with the label of a state-owned factory sewn ostentatiously on the sleeve.
  • The government has ostentatiously solicited public opinion about the change.
  • He then kept regular office hours and maintained an ostentatiously clean desk.
  • And even wealthy people who are not feeling the pinch may have become more cautious about spending ostentatiously.
  • They are ostentatiously parsimonious, advertising their determination to keep prices down.
  • Fish astounds his band mates by ostentatiously vomiting in his hand, which he then sticks in his pocket.
  • He then kept regular office hours, and maintained an ostentatiously clean desk.
British Dictionary definitions for ostentatiously


characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
Derived Forms
ostentatiously, adverb
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 ostentatiously



1701, from ostentation + -ous. Earlier in a similar sense were ostentative (c.1600); ostentive (1590s). Related: Ostentatiously; ostentatiousness (1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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