[ o-sten-siv ]
/ ɒˈstɛn sɪv /


clearly or manifestly demonstrative.

Nearby words

  1. ostempyesis,
  2. ostend,
  3. ostend manifesto,
  4. ostensible,
  5. ostensibly,
  6. ostensive definition,
  7. ostensively,
  8. ostensorium,
  9. ostensory,
  10. ostentation

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
Can be confusedostensible ostensive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ostensive

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

  • Associated words: ostensive, ostensible, exhibiting, expository.

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

    Logic|Carveth Read

British Dictionary definitions for ostensive


/ (ɒˈstɛnsɪv) /


obviously or manifestly demonstrative
a less common word for ostensible
philosophy (of a definition) given by demonstrative means, esp by pointing
Derived Formsostensively, adverb

Word Origin for ostensive

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

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