Definitions for ostensibleɒˈstɛn sə bəl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ostensible

Princeton's WordNet

  1. apparent(a), ostensible, seeming(a)(adj)

    appearing as such but not necessarily so

    "for all his apparent wealth he had no money to pay the rent"; "the committee investigated some apparent discrepancies"; "the ostensible truth of their theories"; "his seeming honesty"

  2. ostensible, ostensive(adj)

    represented or appearing as such; pretended

    "His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity"


  1. Ostensible(a.)

    Outwardly appearing to be; shown to be; exhibited; apparent; evident.

  2. Ostensible(a.)

    Declared; avowed; professed; pretended; -- often used as opposed to real or actual; as, an ostensible reason, motive, or aim. D. Ramsay.

  3. Origin: [From L. ostensus, p. p. of ostendere to show, prop., to stretch out before; fr. prefix obs- (old form of ob-) + tendere to stretch. See Tend.]


  1. ostensible(Adjective)

    meant for open display; apparent

  2. ostensible(Adjective)

    alleged, having an intention that is possibly but not obviously true

  3. Origin: from ostensus, past participle of ostendere 'to show', itself from obs- in front of (akin to ob- in the way; akin to Greek epi 'on, at, besides, after' and Old English eofot crime) + tendere 'to stretch' (Greek teinein)

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