from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. seemingly, apparently, on the surface

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In an ostensible manner; avowedly; professedly; apparently.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In an ostensible manner; as shown or pretended; professedly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. from appearances alone


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

ostensible +‎ -ly, from French ostensible, from Latin ostensus, past participle of ostendō ("I show"), from ob ("before") + tendō ("I stretch out").


  • So maybe there’s a legal convention concerning how definitions such as this are to be circumscribed/overridden/whatever by the common English meaning however vague by comparison of the term ostensibly being defined?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Hate Crimes and Double Jeopardy:

  • When he sat down she began to sing a welcome to “Uncle Walter” ostensibly from the mayor (Ivancie I believe).

    Walter and me (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • Even those living in ostensibly less affluent areas will be affected.

    Housing benefit cuts: what's the real truth?

  • Under another creator, this might be fodder for wacky domestic comedy, with the bachelor dad screwing up in ostensibly hilarious ways.

    From the stack: Bunny Drop vol. 1

  • Dorothy – it is interesting how James, whilst writing in ostensibly the same style, manages to create such different reading experiences with his books.

    Reading Plans for 2009 « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Oddly the BBC report omits to mention on a page that at least ostensibly is about Boris Johnson's visit to the Sikh New Year festival, that Boris's wife is half Sikh, her mother being Dip Singh.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Ignatieff argued that Carroll can't remain ostensibly in charge of rebuilding and unifying the party after publicly casting aspersions on the loyalty of erstwhile leadership competitors.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • While young Frank Pierson revered Tom Ripley and wanted, in some sense, to become him or at least win his approval, David Pritchard arbitrarily, impulsively decides to make Tom's life a living hell, to harass him with phone calls ostensibly from Dickie Greenleaf (who has been "found and resuscitated"), and, finally, to stalk his every move.

    This Woman Is Dangerous

  • “Ostensibly written by a local high school student, it was the only item on a full page usually given over to teen topics and (again – ostensibly) written by and for teens,” said our reader.

    RIAA lies and disinformation

  • The reason for this, ostensibly, is that Windows used to do really bad things if you just flipped the power off without letting the OS shut down first.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » I Want A Hard Power Switch on My Computer


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  • I prefer this word to constantly having used: apparently, evidently and seemingly... this particular word encompasses the three and has a much broader scope

    July 13, 2009

  • This is a very good filler word.

    February 12, 2008

  • One of my few adverbs.

    February 12, 2008