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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Oliver also can’t quite pull off the entrancing chill that ostensibly defines her character. Inkoo Kang, Washington Post, 14 May 2022 Don’t expect that to improve as an ostensibly prestigious medical journal tries to politicize medicine with an editorial denouncing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 May 2022 In several episodes, Anthony worked with state wildlife biologists in Maine to enter bear dens and tag bears with tracking devices, ostensibly to help researchers monitor the population. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 12 May 2022 But that assumption means that Alison, ostensibly the film’s lead, often acts as a supporting character. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 12 May 2022 Furthermore, Rhodes hammered Ciani for ostensibly trying to accuse the judge of bias as a way to cover her own alleged shortcomings in court, especially as the judge kept validating the defense’s objections throughout the trial. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 11 May 2022 Irvin’s event was ostensibly held to attack Pritzker over his administration’s handling of the November 2020 COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home. Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2022 Well, ostensibly it’s because the two aren’t aware their body is inhabited by a triplet. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 6 May 2022 Even the ostensibly moderate members of the Democratic coalition are hostages of the party’s activist base on this issue. Nate Hochman, National Review, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ostensibly

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ostensibly

see ostensible

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Time Traveler for ostensibly

Time Traveler

The first known use of ostensibly was in 1765

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Dictionary Entries Near ostensibly

ostensible partner



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Statistics for ostensibly

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ostensibly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostensibly. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of ostensibly for Arabic Speakers


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