Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 20:48

ostensible

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From French, from Latin ostensus, the past participle of ostendō (show), itself from obs- (in front of) (akin to ob- (in the way) and to Ancient Greek ἐπί (epí, on, at, besides, after) and Old English eofot (crime)) + tendō (stretch) (akin to Ancient Greek τείνω (teínō)).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɒˈstɛns.ɪ.bəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɑˈstɛns.ɪ.bəl/
  • Hyphenation: os-ten'-si-ble
  • (file)

AdjectiveEdit

ostensible (comparative more ostensible, superlative most ostensible)

  1. Apparent, evident; meant for open display.
    • 1956–1960, R.S. Peters, The Concept of Motivation, Routledge & Kegan Paul (second edition, 1960), chapter ii: “Motives and Motivation”, page 32:
      Motives, of course, may be mixed; but this only means that a man aims at a variety of goals by means of the same course of action. Similarly a man may have a strong motive or a weak one, an ulterior motive or an ostensible one.
    • 1974, Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., chapter 11, The Myth of Mental Illness[1], ISBN 0-06-091151-4, page 192:
      In witch-trials the conflict was officially defined as between the accused and God, or between the accused and the Catholic (later Protestant) church, as God's earthly representative. [...]
      Behind the ostensible conflict of the witch-trial lay the usual conflicts of social class, values, and human relationships.
  2. Appearing as such; being such in appearance; professed, supposed (rather than demonstrably true or real).
    The ostensible reason for his visit to New York was to see his mother, but the real reason was to get to the Yankees game the next day.

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TranslationsEdit

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ReferencesEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

from Latin ostensus, past participle of ostendere 'to show', itself from obs- in front of (akin to ob- in the way; akin to Greek epi 'on, at, besides, after' and Old English eofot crime) + tendere 'to stretch' (Greek teinein)

AdjectiveEdit

ostensible (masculine and feminine, plural ostensibles)

  1. apparent

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SpanishEdit

AdjectiveEdit

ostensible m, f (plural ostensibles)

  1. ostensible, apparent

Related termsEdit