AskDefine | Define ostensible

Dictionary Definition

ostensible adj
1 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" [syn: apparent(a), seeming(a)]
2 represented or appearing as such; pretended; "His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity" [syn: ostensive]

User Contributed Dictionary



, from ostensus, past participle of ostendere to show, from obs- in front of; akin to ob- in the way; akin to Greek epi on, at, besides, after; akin to Old English eofot crime + tendere to stretch, Greek teinein


  • a UK /ɒˈstɛns.ɪ.bəl/ /Q"stEns.I.b@l/
  • a US


  1. meant for appearance; apparent
  2. having an intention that is possibly but not obviously true


meant for appearance; apparent
  • Finnish: näennäinen
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