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Word of the Day
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Definitions for ostensible

  1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
  2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories.

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Citations for ostensible
The ostensible reason for these tours by which I came to know the world was that I should thank the people of the Empire, in my father's name, for their services in Britain's cause during the war. But inside this idea was another: that in addition to making myself known to the different imperial factions over which I should one day rule I should also learn about other countries important to British life. Edward, Duke of Windsor, "A Prince at War," Life, December 22, 1947
She had called early, on purpose to give her views, with the ostensible excuse of an inquiry about her sister-in-law's health. Elinor Glyn, The Reason Why, 1911
Origin of ostensible
Ostensible ultimately derives from the Latin verb ostendere “to spread out, expose, show.” The Latin verb is a compound of the preposition and combining form ob (older obs) “in the face, toward, to” and tendere “to stretch, stretch out.” The rare, long since obsolete verb obtend “to put forward, offer, proffer” is formed from the same Latin elements, but is recorded only from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Ostensible entered English in the 18th century.