Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[os-ten-tey-shuh s, -tuh n-] /ˌɒs tɛnˈteɪ ʃəs, -tən-/
characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others:
an ostentatious dresser.
(of actions, manner, qualities exhibited, etc.) intended to attract notice:
Lady Bountiful's ostentatious charity.
Origin of ostentatious
First recorded in 1650-60; ostentat(ion) + -ious
Related forms
ostentatiously, adverb
ostentatiousness, noun
unostentatious, adjective
unostentatiously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ostentatious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He just stopped me to say it's been the best year he ever had," she explained, with ostentatious vanity.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • “Force of personality,” he repeated, with ostentatious calm.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • "You ain't eat a thing," said he, with an ostentatious kindliness.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Miss Madden welcomed the diversion by rising with ostentatious vigour.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • The process of conversion was, for decency's sake, protracted and ostentatious.

    Henry IV, Makers of History John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for ostentatious


characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
Derived Forms
ostentatiously, adverb
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 ostentatious

1701, from ostentation + -ous. Earlier in a similar sense were ostentative (c.1600); ostentive (1590s). Related: Ostentatiously; ostentatiousness (1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ostentatious

Word Value for ostentatious

Scrabble Words With Friends