- pretentious or conspicuous show, as of wealth or importance; display intended to impress others.
- Archaic. the act of showing or exhibiting; display.
Origin of ostentation
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ostentation
He was a showman who indulged in ostentation and flamboyance.Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen: Lady in Red
January 19, 2011
It can be shocking at first—the copious amounts of nudity, ostentation, “O” faces, all twisted, layered, sometimes even malformed.Erotic Embroidery
May 20, 2010
Reflecting, by your ostentation, upon all the ladies in the county, who do not as you do.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
For myself, I must say that I like absence of all ostentation.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
In Spain, it is celebrated with all the pomp and ostentation imaginable.Roman Catholicism in Spain
This was no time, he remarked, for publicity and ostentation.The Rescue
The man nearest him, combing his beard with ostentation, burst into a laugh.The Long Roll
- pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
Word Origin and History for ostentation
mid-15c., from Old French ostentacion (mid-14c.) and directly from Latin ostentationem (nominative ostentatio) "showing, exhibition, vain display," noun of action from past participle stem of ostentare "to display," frequentative of ostendere "to show" (see ostensible).