from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Seeming or professed; ostensible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Apparently true, but not necessarily; ostensible
  • adj. Clearly demonstrative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Showing; exhibiting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Showing; betokening.
  • Setting forth a general principle by virtue of which a proposition must be true. The old logicians supposed all strict proof to be either of this nature or else apagogic.

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

  • adj. represented or appearing as such; pretended
  • adj. manifestly demonstrative


Late Latin ostēnsīvus, from Latin ostēnsus, past participle of ostendere, to show; see ostensible.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French ostensif, from Medieval Latin ostensivus (Wiktionary)



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  • In linguistics or philosophy, an ostensive definition is one made by pointing something out: 'That's an okapi.'

    August 7, 2008