• synonyms


[os-ten-tey-shuhn, -tuhn-]
  1. pretentious or conspicuous show, as of wealth or importance; display intended to impress others.
  2. Archaic. the act of showing or exhibiting; display.
Show More

Origin of ostentation

1425–75; late Middle English ostentacioun < Middle French ostentation < Latin ostentātiōn- (stem of ostentātiō), equivalent to ostentāt(us) past participle of ostentāre to display, exhibit, frequentative of ostendere to present, display (equivalent to os-, var of ob- ob- + ten(dere) to stretch + -t- frequentative suffix + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·os·ten·ta·tion, noun

Synonyms for ostentation

Synonym study

1. See show.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ostentations

parade, show, pretension, spectacle, affectation, array, demonstration, splurge, swank, boasting, flash, exhibition, vainglory, swagger, braggadocio, pomp, fuss, bravado, pomposity, magnificence

Examples from the Web for ostentations

Historical Examples of ostentations

  • Its luxuries and ostentations were, in themselves, perhaps bad for us.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • Such love is impossible to it, whatever its pretensions and ostentations in that respect.

  • It had been choked by the false principles and ostentations that her mother had taught her.

  • From the first he eschewed the facile trickeries and ostentations which allure the populace.

British Dictionary definitions for ostentations


  1. pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
Show More
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 ostentations



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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper