Word of the Day

Sunday, October 27, 2002


\os-ten-TAY-shuhn\ , noun;
Excessive or pretentious display; boastful showiness.
In a city where the wealthy are known for ostentation, many are now buying low-profile economy cars to fool kidnappers and thieves.
-- Anthony Faiola, "Brazil's Elites Fly Above Their Fears", Washington Post, June 1, 2002
After his marriage, when Francis finally had enough money to indulge his tastes, his extravagance and ostentation in matters of dress frequently occasioned comment.
-- Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart, Hostage to Fortune
It is too early to probe the cause or say how far the staggering ostentation of the wealthy fomented the sullen disaffection of the poor.
-- Stephen McKenna, Sonia
The Puritan leadership was especially distressed by the sartorial ostentation of the lower classes, who were supposed to content themselves with "raiment suitable to the order in which God's providence has placed them."
-- Patricia O'Toole, Money & Morals in America: A History
Ostentation comes from Latin ostentatio, ostentation-, from ostentare, "to display," frequentative of ostendere, "to hold out, to show," from ob-, obs-, "in front of, before," + tendere, "to stretch, to stretch out, to present."
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