os·​ten·​ta·​tion | \ ˌä-stən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce ostentation (audio) \

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

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 In 1972 Vidal became the owner of the property that would come to embody his own ego and self-projection, in its exclusivity and extravagance, in its isolation and ostentation. Christopher Bollen, Town & Country, 8 June 2022 The interiors are relatively forgettable but in a town marked by ostentation, the crowd counts for more than the surroundings. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 19 May 2022 But music and lyric teams Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner, Matt Berninger (of the band The National), and Carin Besser concoct a mix of hip-hop versifying and Broadway ostentation to match Wright and Schmidt’s PC anachronisms. Armond White, National Review, 25 Feb. 2022 Quite often, those investments include yachts and jets, some of which are marvels of luxury and ostentation. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 There is no swimming pool, none of the ostentation that characterizes other narco properties in Sinaloa. AndrÉs Villarreal, Chron, 14 Sep. 2021 On Bravo, the most iconic personalities are usually a deft combination of combativeness, pride, and ostentation. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 In the online world, ostentation is a protean thing. Laurence Scott, Wired, 14 July 2021 Rain fell in the overnight hours with little ostentation but dogged persistence. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ostentation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostentation. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of ostentation for Spanish Speakers


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