What does ostentation mean?

Definitions for ostentation
ˌɒs tɛnˈteɪ ʃən, -tən-os·ten·ta·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ostentation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ostentation, fanfare, flashnoun

    a gaudy outward display

  2. ostentation, ostentatiousness, pomposity, pompousness, pretentiousness, puffiness, splashiness, inflationnoun

    lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity

  3. ostentationnoun

    pretentious or showy or vulgar display


  1. ostentationnoun

    Ambitious display; vain show; display intended to excite admiration or applause.

  2. ostentationnoun

    A show or spectacle.

  3. Etymology: Originated 1425–75 from late ostentacioun, from ostentation, from ostentatio, equivalent to ostentātus (past participle of ostentāre, to display or exhibit), frequentative of ostendere (to present, display) + -ion.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ostentationnoun

    Etymology: ostentation, Fr. ostentatio, Lat.

    If these shows be not outward, which of you
    But is four Volscians? ——
    —— March on my fellows;
    Make good this ostentation, and you shall
    Divide in all with us. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    You are come
    A market-maid to Rome, and have prevented
    The ostentation of our love. William Shakespeare.

    If all these secret springs of detraction fail, yet a vain ostentation of wit sets a man on attacking an established name, and sacrificing it to the mirth and laughter of those about him. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 256.

    He knew that good and bountiful minds were sometimes inclined to ostentation, and ready to cover it with pretence of inciting others by their example, and therefore checks this vanity: Take heed, says he, that you do not your alms before men, to be seen. Francis Atterbury.

    The king would have me present the princess with some delightful ostentation, show, pageant, antick, or firework. William Shakespeare, Love’s Lab. Lost.


  1. ostentation

    In sociology and in economics, the term conspicuous consumption describes and explains the consumer practice of buying and using goods of a higher quality, price, or in greater quantity than practical. In 1899, the sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption to explain the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury commodities (goods and services) specifically as a public display of economic power—the income and the accumulated wealth—of the buyer. To the conspicuous consumer, the public display of discretionary income is an economic means of either attaining or of maintaining a given social status.The development of Veblen's sociology of conspicuous consumption also identified and described other economic behaviours such as invidious consumption, which is the ostentatious consumption of goods, an action meant to provoke the envy of other people; and conspicuous compassion, the ostentatious use of charity meant to enhance the reputation and social prestige of the donor; thus the socio-economic practises of consumerism derive from conspicuous consumption.


  1. ostentation

    Ostentation is the act of displaying wealth, luxury, or power in a way that is meant to impress or attract attention from others. It often implies a showy, excessive, or pretentious display.

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How to pronounce ostentation?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ostentation in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ostentation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of ostentation in a Sentence

  1. John Locke:

    Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.

  2. Edwin Hubbel Chapin:

    Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy.

  3. William Hazlitt:

    Fashon is the abortive issue of vain ostentation and exclusive egotism it is haughty, trifling, affected, servile, despotic, mean and ambitious, precise and fantastical, all in a breath -- tied to no rule, and bound to conform to every whim of the minute.

  4. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli:

    Most certainly do not engage in ostentation, waste or luxury.

  5. William Hutton:

    The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.

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Translations for ostentation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • okázalostCzech
  • Pomp, Schaustellung, Prahlerei, Spektakel, Zurschaustellung, SchauGerman
  • näytös, näytelmäFinnish
  • spectacle, ostentationFrench
  • डींगHindi
  • 催眠Japanese
  • show, spektakel, aanstellerijDutch
  • ostentațieRomanian
  • показное проявление, хвастовство, демонстрация, выставление напоказRussian

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"ostentation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ostentation>.

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    in or of the month preceding the present one
    A eminent
    B unsealed
    C equivalent
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