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

Simple Definition of ostentatious

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ostentatious

  1. :  marked by or fond of conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display

ostentatiously adverb
ostentatiousness noun

Examples of ostentatious in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. That pompous excuse for a plush ride is a thumb in the eye to every taxpayer—and in the case of an ostentatious cost-cutter, genuine hypocrisy. —William Safire, New York Times, 2 May 1991

  3. Always proud to sit down with an ice-cold beer in my hand, I was ostentatious about it in town. —Mark Helprin, New Yorker, 30 May 1988

  4. She had driven to Prague from the Netherlands in her Porsche, telling friends she didn't give a hoot how ostentatious she might appear to the comrades. —Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 4 Aug. 1986

  5. an ostentatious display of knowledge

  6. <wears an ostentatious diamond ring on his little finger>

Origin of ostentatious

(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 Students

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

Seen and Heard

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marked by grandiloquent style

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