[ o-sten-siv ]
See synonyms for: ostensiveostensively on Thesaurus.com

  1. clearly or manifestly demonstrative.

Origin of ostensive

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Medieval Latin ostēnsīvus, equivalent to Latin ostēns(us), variant of ostentus, past participle of ostendere “to present, display” (o(b)s, variant of ob- “to, toward, on” + tend(ere) “to stretch” + -tus past participle suffix) + -īvus adjective suffix; see ob-, -ive

Other words from ostensive

  • os·ten·sive·ly, adverb
  • non·os·ten·sive, adjective
  • non·os·ten·sive·ly, adverb
  • un·os·ten·sive, adjective
  • un·os·ten·sive·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with ostensive

Words Nearby ostensive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ostensive in a sentence

  • 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


/ (ɒˈstɛnsɪv) /

  1. obviously or manifestly demonstrative

  2. a less common word for ostensible

  1. philosophy (of a definition) given by demonstrative means, esp by pointing

Origin of ostensive

C17: from Late Latin ostentīvus, from Latin ostendere to show; see ostensible

Derived forms of ostensive

  • ostensively, 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