[ os-ten-tey-shuh s, -tuh n- ]
/ ˌɒs tɛnˈteɪ ʃəs, -tən- /


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

Examples from the Web for ostentatiousness

  • Ostentatiousness had, I am afraid, more to do with it than love of art for art's sake.

  • But it would be a great mistake to infer that this ostentatiousness of authority concealed real servility.

    Swift|Leslie Stephen

British Dictionary definitions for ostentatiousness


/ (ˌɒstɛnˈteɪʃəs) /


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 ostentatiousness



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