adjective os·ten·ta·tious \ˌäs-tən-ˈtā-shəs\

: displaying wealth, knowledge, etc., in a way that is meant to attract attention, admiration, or envy

Full Definition of OSTENTATIOUS

:  marked by or fond of conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display
os·ten·ta·tious·ly adverb
os·ten·ta·tious·ness noun


  1. an ostentatious display of knowledge
  2. <wears an ostentatious diamond ring on his little finger>
  3. The power of the government was present, in its watchmen, supervisors of the market and police force, but it did not express itself in large and ostentatious buildings. —Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991


(see ostentation)
First Known Use: 1673

Synonym Discussion of OSTENTATIOUS

showy, pretentious, ostentatious mean given to excessive outward display. showy implies an imposing or striking appearance but usually suggests cheapness or poor taste <the performers' showy costumes>. pretentious implies an appearance of importance not justified by the thing's value or the person's standing <a pretentious parade of hard words>. ostentatious stresses vainglorious display or parade <the ostentatious summer homes of the rich>.
OSTENTATIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective os·ten·ta·tious \ˌä-stən-ˈtā-shəs\

Definition of OSTENTATIOUS for Kids

:  attracting or fond of attracting attention by showing off wealth or cleverness <They lived in a huge, ostentatious house.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: ostentativePrevious Word in the Dictionary: ostentationAll Words Near: ostentatious
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears