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

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Examples of ostentation in a Sentence

The actress avoids ostentation. She owns a small house and drives an inexpensive car. He writes simply and clearly and without ostentation.

Recent Examples on the Web

Young leads a life notorious among the 49ers for its lack of ostentation. Johnny Miller, SFChronicle.com, "5 years, $26 million for QB Young," 12 July 2018 For all the ostentation, for all the millions spent, this was a day for all generations and all people. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "A day in Windsor when everything changed," 19 May 2018 But as the show explains, these vehicles were not about mere ostentation, but reflective of the Art Deco movement itself, defined by the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Artes Décoratifs in Paris. Mark Yost, WSJ, "‘L’epoque des Carrossiers: The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders’ Review: Works of Art on Wheels," 14 Apr. 2018 Once upon a time, horseless carriages were a luxury item, crafted from the finest of materials to wrap an owner in wealth and ostentation. Jack Stewart, Wired News, "7 Future-Revealing Details From the 2018 Geneva Motor Show," 11 Mar. 2018 So, like any sneaker that cranks itself to 11 on the ostentation scale, these Raf x Adidas sneakers fit best with wide-leg trousers that can stand up to all that extra real estate on your feet. Jake Woolf, GQ, "The Raf Simons x Adidas Ozweego III, the Godfather of Ugly Sneakers, Is Back," 7 Mar. 2018 There had been signs of ostentation creep before the Leonardo sale. James Atlas, Town & Country, "The Optics of Excess: All Eyes Are on the Fantastically Extravagant—And It Doesn't Look Good," 8 Feb. 2018 His vision included the union of the arts and industry, and the movement’s hallmarks included a melding of function and design, a lack of ornamentation and ostentation and a focus on harmony and nature. Nancy A. Herrick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Modern Design: Still functional, appealing after all these years," 12 Jan. 2018 Victorian ostentation gives way to embalming and a lifelike appearance for open caskets, to cremation and scattering of ashes, to green burials. Colin Dickey, New Republic, "What Winchester Gets Wrong About an American Landmark," 7 Feb. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of ostentation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ostentation

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

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The first known use of ostentation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ostentation

ostentation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ostentation

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

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