ostentation

noun os·ten·ta·tion \ ˌä-stən-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of ostentation

1 :excessive display :vain and unnecessary show especially for the purpose of attracting attention, admiration, or envy :pretentiousness
  • She dresses stylishly without ostentation.
  • an aesthetic preference for function over ostentation
  • —Wendell Garrett
  • their ostentation of new wealth and their prodigality with it
  • —Mark Sullivan
2 archaic :an act of displaying

Examples of ostentation in a Sentence

  1. The actress avoids ostentation. She owns a small house and drives an inexpensive car.

  2. He writes simply and clearly and without ostentation.

Recent Examples of ostentation from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ostentation

Middle English ostentacion, from Middle French, from Latin ostentation-, ostentatio, from ostentare to display, frequentative of ostendere


OSTENTATION Defined for English Language Learners

ostentation

noun

Definition of ostentation for English Language Learners

  • : an unnecessary display of wealth, knowledge, etc., that is done to attract attention, admiration, or envy



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