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 of ostentation from the Web
There was no pretense or ostentation here, no fancy finger work for its own sake, just jazz standards dispatched simply and directly, with very little fuss and a great deal of warmth.
In a music world that so often prizes volume and ostentation above all else, Riccards — who moved from New York to Chicago in 2011 — represents a welcome alternative.
Ostentation, not discretion, is Versace territory, as are inspired and even occasionally wacko flights of creative fancy.
The vanity architecture often rivals Zaha Hadid’s whimsy or the Donald’s ostentation.
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
OSTENTATION Defined for English Language Learners
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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