os·​ten·​si·​bly | \ ä-ˈsten(t)-sə-blē How to pronounce ostensibly (audio) \

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

Isn’t Harry’s role, ostensibly, to help support important causes? Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Prince Harry Should Take an Extended Paternity Leave," 5 Apr. 2019 Self added, ostensibly referring to individual workouts with teams. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Self supports KU seniors on Graduation Day, gives combine advice, discusses Doke | The Kansas City Star," 13 May 2018 While Graham is ostensibly referring to racy shows and advertisements, the pronouncement is open to multiple interpretations, said Bill Leonard, professor of Baptist Studies at Wake Forest University. Jonathan Drew, Fox News, "Franklin Graham book shares lessons from "America's Pastor"," 5 May 2018 The tables have what look like modest wedding centerpieces, except there are no goldfish or floating flowers and there are Gillette razors stabbed into piles of blue rocks ostensibly designed for fish tanks. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The absurd quest to make the “best” razor," 11 Dec. 2018 And when The Ed Show was still on air, the network actually had a program ostensibly designed to appeal to the class identities of Rust Belt whites. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Democratic Party Has an ‘MSNBC Problem’," 16 May 2018 In March 2016, Jan Szyszko, the minister of the environment at the time, tripled the amount of logging permitted in one of three districts managed by the Forest Service, ostensibly to speed up the campaign against the beetle. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Logging in Europe’s primeval forest ruled illegal," 18 Apr. 2018 Consider the context: Trump had just spent more than an hour at an event in West Virginia ostensibly designed to tout the tax cut law. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Here's exactly why Donald Trump answered a question about Stormy Daniels," 6 Apr. 2018 Implemented in 1995, the new constitution was ostensibly designed to promote groups’ rights. Yohannes Y. Gedamu, Washington Post, "Ethiopia just pardoned political prisoners. Could that signal a shift to real democracy?," 9 Feb. 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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Learn More about ostensibly

Statistics for ostensibly

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ostensibly

The first known use of ostensibly was in 1765

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More from Merriam-Webster on ostensibly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ostensibly

Britannica English: Translation of ostensibly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ostensibly

What made you want to look up ostensibly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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