• synonyms


[os-ten-tey-shuh s, -tuh n-]
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  1. characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others: an ostentatious dresser.
  2. (of actions, manner, qualities exhibited, etc.) intended to attract notice: Lady Bountiful's ostentatious charity.
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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

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

Related Words for unostentatious

unpretentious, average, cheap, discreet, dry, economical, fair, humble, inexpensive, middling, moderate, natural, plain, reasonable, simple, small, unadorned, unaffected, unassuming, unembellished

Examples from the Web for unostentatious

Historical Examples of unostentatious

  • His generosity to brother artists in need was splendid, but quiet and unostentatious.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Unostentatious in her work, yet such service cannot escape comment.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • “She is my ideal of unostentatious respectability,” answered MacShaughnassy.

    Novel Notes

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • By nature he was a democrat, plain, simple, and unostentatious.

  • Table appointments at this time were most simple and unostentatious.

    As I Remember

    Marian Gouverneur

British Dictionary definitions for unostentatious


  1. characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
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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 unostentatious


1747, from un- (1) "not" + ostentatious. Related: Unostentatiously.

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1701, from ostentation + -ous. Earlier in a similar sense were ostentative (c.1600); ostentive (1590s). Related: Ostentatiously; ostentatiousness (1650s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper