Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[o-sten-siv] /ɒˈstɛn sɪv/
clearly or manifestly demonstrative.
Origin of ostensive
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin ostēnsīvus, equivalent to Latin ostēns(us), variant of ostentus past participle of ostendere to present, display (o(b)s-, variant of ob- ob- + tend(ere) to stretch + -tus past participle suffix) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
ostensively, adverb
nonostensive, adjective
nonostensively, adverb
unostensive, adjective
unostensively, adverb
Can be confused
ostensible, ostensive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ostensive
Historical Examples
  • Associated words: ostensive, ostensible, exhibiting, expository.

    Putnam's Word Book Louis A. Flemming
  • Explain the meaning of "ostensive" and "indirect" Reduction.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • It serves mainly to provide the regime with ostensive evidence of its power and technological progress.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
British Dictionary definitions for ostensive


obviously or manifestly demonstrative
a less common word for ostensible
(philosophy) (of a definition) given by demonstrative means, esp by pointing
Derived Forms
ostensively, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin ostentīvus, from Latin ostendere to show; see ostensible
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ostensive

c.1600, from Late Latin ostensivus "showing," from Latin ostensus, past participle of ostendere "to show" (see ostensible).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ostensive

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ostensive

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for ostensive