os·​ten·​sive ä-ˈsten(t)-siv How to pronounce ostensive (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting definition by exemplifying the thing or quality being defined
ostensively adverb

Examples of ostensive in a Sentence

the ostensive purpose of his visit was to discuss the terms of his will
Recent Examples on the Web The ostensive unpopularity of violet versus purple nagged at the back of Tager’s mind for much of his life, eventually setting him on a 20-year journey across 193 museums in 42 countries. Stephen MacKnik, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2021 Just like Glaucon, the best this new interlocutor could do is an ostensive definition - provide examples of justice - or possibly present the etymology of the word. Theodore McDarrah, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 Researchers in this new study show that dogs made their decisions based on these ostensive cues as well. Sarah Zhang, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2012 This obviously doesn’t mean the Nuggets reserve unit has transformed into the cream of the crop, and that minus-three remains a concern for a team with ostensive (if diminished) title hopes. Joel Rush, Forbes, 26 Dec. 2021 Ask this question to a random group of people, the answer will most likely be ostensive. Teddy McDarrah, Forbes, 28 June 2021 The United Arab Emirates has taken advantage of the fight and now dominates the south, squeezing out its ostensive ally, Hadi. Washington Post, 12 May 2018 Cairo streets are lined with campaign banners and posters extolling el-Sissi, who has done little in the way of traditional campaigning, and has not publicly mentioned his ostensive challenger, Moussa Mustafa Moussa. Fox News, 26 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ostensive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ostensive was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near ostensive

Cite this Entry

“Ostensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostensive. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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