[os-ten-tey-shuh s, -tuh n-]


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 formsos·ten·ta·tious·ly, adverbos·ten·ta·tious·ness, nounun·os·ten·ta·tious, adjectiveun·os·ten·ta·tious·ly, adverb

Synonyms for ostentatious

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

Examples from the Web for ostentatious

Contemporary Examples of ostentatious

Historical Examples of ostentatious

  • "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.

British Dictionary definitions for ostentatious



characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
Derived Formsostentatiously, 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

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