ostensibly

adverb
os·​ten·​si·​bly | \ ä-ˈsten(t)-sə-blē \

Definition of ostensibly

1 : in an ostensible manner
2 : to all outward appearances

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Examples of ostensibly in a Sentence

The god of cleanliness is never satisfied. In America, the ostensibly egalitarian nature of society meant that cleanliness was used to mark status. — Joanna Bourke, Harper's, April 2008 Budweiser and Miller, on the other hand, have eroded their credibility by launching brands ostensibly produced by microbreweries. They've been found out, with resulting customer cynicism. — James R. Rosenfield, Demographics, December 1997 The day after Clinton made his seemingly proactive statement, he met with congressional leaders of both parties, ostensibly to press the case for military intervention. — Michael Kelly, New Yorker, 19 Dec.1994 ostensibly a university student studying abroad, he was actually an espionage agent
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Recent Examples on the Web

If streets and systems can be designed so more people feel safe using micromobility services, the authors note, research shows that more people will use these modes, ostensibly in place of cars. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Electric scooters growing at ‘unprecedented pace,’ finds new transit survey," 24 July 2018 Women in this episode are reduced to being symbols, even Rachel Tapping, ostensibly the most powerful American woman left on the show. Rena Gross, Billboard, "9 Major Moments From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 9 'Smart Power'," 13 June 2018 Echo Auto is a way to ostensibly put Alexa in your car by ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "What’s next for virtual assistants like Alexa? Maybe buying stuff for you automatically.," 24 Dec. 2018 On Android, Messenger uploaded call history and SMS data to Facebook’s servers, ostensibly to help Facebook’s algorithms make better friend recommendations, for example. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Facebook “partner” arrangements: Are they as bad as they look?," 19 Dec. 2018 The one that would be remembered for years to come was produced not by the Bush campaign but by an operative named Larry McCarthy working for an ostensibly independent group called the National Security Political Action Committee. Peter Baker, The Seattle Times, "Bush made Willie Horton an issue, and for African-Americans, the scars are still fresh," 3 Dec. 2018 While ostensibly most of his responsibilities happen offscreen before a video is uploaded, Majlak sometimes makes jokes about what the legal team allows Paul to upload to the platform. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Meet the babysitter who helps Logan Paul stay out of trouble on YouTube," 3 Dec. 2018 William, with Kate by his side, was ostensibly at the British broadcaster to support anti-cyberbullying efforts. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Offers a Bold Condemnation of Social Media Companies at the BBC Headquarters," 15 Nov. 2018 And then another Zhen arrives: Wei’s younger brother Qiang, who after more than two decades of missing silence, announces he’s Shanghai-bound, ostensibly to attend the World Expo, and bringing with him memories of shared past. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "'What We Were Promised' depicts post-Mao China in a deft debut novel set in Shanghai," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ostensibly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ostensibly

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ostensibly

see ostensible

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for ostensibly

The first known use of ostensibly was in 1765

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Britannica English: Translation of ostensibly for Arabic Speakers

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