[ 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

Can be confused

ostensible 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 Forms

ostensively, 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